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   Cruise Travel - Cruise News

Cruise Club is a free service, and when you join, you will begin receiving weekly updates including the latest cruise news and cruise specialsWelcome to this week's edition of Cruise News, the best place on the Web to find up-to-date information about cruises. To automatically receive Cruise News via email each week, join our Cruise Club.

For up to the minute news, stop by Cruise Talk anytime to post a message or find out what your fellow passengers and industry insiders are saying about a particular ship, cruise line or destination.


Cruise News - January 20, 2020

Uniworld Seeks Damages From MSC
The river cruise company Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection brought suit against MSC Cruise Management (UK) Limited yesterday. Uniworld is seeking reimbursement for damages incurred following a June 2, 2019 incident in which a Uniworld ship, River Countess was hit by MSC Opera, a large ocean ship while docked at the San Basilio Cruise Terminal in Venice, Italy.

According to Uniworld CEO and President Ellen Bettridge, extensive conversations with MSC to compensate Uniworld for its losses have been unproductive. "We are extremely disappointed with the unprofessional manner in which MSC has decided to ignore the gravity of the situation, which has disrupted our guests, our partners and our team," said Bettridge. "Aside from the severe damage to our ship [River Countess], we were forced to cancel 14 voyages, frustrating our guests and travel partners during the peak summer season."

To date, Uniworld estimates its losses that include passenger reimbursement, ship damage, lost revenue and the protection of travel agent commissions to be in excess of 11.5 million Euros. This estimate excludes additional potential claims from customers and related damages. "We do not like to litigate but have been compelled to do so based on the stonewalling and delays by MSC and its representatives – even after receiving a letter of guarantee by their own insurance agency, West of England. We expect more and better from a fellow member of the cruise industry and regret having to go to court to seek fitting remedy," said Bettridge.

The incident, which remains under investigation by Italian authorities, impacted nearly 1600 guests over the course of several months. "Uniworld is part of The Travel Corporation which celebrates a century of travel excellence this year. The company prides itself on delivering service which exceeds our customers' expectations and that is put to the test most not when things go right, but when things go wrong. We are holding MSC to that standard. This situation has been incredibly distressing, particularly for those guests and crew who experienced the traumatic moment onboard first-hand and those who watched the terrifying videos in the days to follow; we wish for nothing more than to put this behind us. It's time for them to come to the table and make us whole," says Bettridge.

Seabourn's New Constellation Lounge To Feature Stunning 270-Degree Views
Seabourn will soon be offering guests a breathtaking perspective on the sights in the most coveted and remote destinations in the world. Introducing the Constellation Lounge, a viewing lounge located up high and forward to be featured on each of the line's two new purpose-built expedition vessels that are scheduled to launch in 2021 and 2022 respectively.

Designed along the lines of the Observation Bar, among the most popular venues on every ship in the current Seabourn fleet, the Constellation Lounge will debut with the launch of Seabourn Venture in June 2021, and follow on the yet to be named sister expedition ship in May 2022. The name of the new lounge reflects the heavenly direction of the space, which is dressed up in constellation-inspired interiors, fashioned by hospitality design icon Adam D. Tihany, including dark carpeting laid out with bright constellation patterns. In addition, the furniture is being created and designed by Tihany Product Design. The name – Constellation Lounge - was last used on Seabourn Pride and is a nod to the heritage of luxury hospitality built over more than 30 years of operation.

Located on Deck 9 forward, the Constellation Lounge will be the highest indoor viewing point on each ship. Floor-to-ceiling glass walls will wrap around the space, offering guests stunning 270-degree, outward-facing views as far as their eyes can see, heightening their expeditionary spirit while bringing them closer to wildlife and wonders at sea and in port. In addition, the expedition team will be in the lounge regularly to help identify points of interest, wildlife and geological wonders. Imagine glimpsing killer whales, waddling penguins, and sea lions in Antarctica; sleepy-eyed sloths, sprightly monkeys, and colorful parrots in the rainforests of South and Central America; and icebergs bobbing in the seas and waterfalls rushing over cliffs in the far reaches of the Arctic and Northern Europe – all from the comfort of the Constellation Lounge.

"The Constellation Lounge creates a scene all its own on our new expedition vessels, inviting guests into a stunning space with myriad delights to enjoy from morning into the night," said Richard Meadows, president of Seabourn. "The design of the space inspires, just like the sky above. It will play out as an ideal setting to relax, unwind, and review the day while soaking up amazing views."

The rich red and blue palette of the Constellation Lounge will be accented by silver and bronze details from throw pillows to bar stool stands, while velvety banquettes and comfortable, sleek, sling-back lounge chairs will contribute to a seductive and relaxed environment that encourages guests to kick back, converse, and enjoy.

The captivating central bar of the Constellation Lounge will be a destination on its own, with striking textured marble and a unique geometrical faceted metal bar front. Taking inspiration from the skies above, lighting elements will create star-like lighting patterns across the ceiling. The featured art of the Constellation Lounge echoes the geometrical elements of the space with an ode to historical maps of the night sky.

The Constellation Lounge will offer Seabourn's popular Early Morning Riser continental breakfast, while afternoons will feature the line's popular and recently enhanced Afternoon Tea service. Steeped in the tradition of proper English tea service, yet as fresh and memorable as a newly brewed pot, the elegant daily tea service incorporates the finest luxury tea brand TWG Tea. As the sun dips and the night sky lights up, live piano entertainment will delight guests as cocktails and tapas are served both before and after dinner.

Seabourn Venture and its sister expedition ship will feature 132 luxurious oceanfront veranda suites.

Carnival Corporation Joins Ocean Plastics Leadership Network as Charter Member
Carnival Corporation today announced it is a charter member of the Ocean Plastics Leadership Network (OPLN), a new global community of retailers, brands, non-governmental organizations and alliances committed to sharing best practices, developing scientific breakthroughs and new business models, and working to develop new approaches, innovations and solutions-based projects to address the impacts of plastic waste.

As part of the company's implementation of broader environmental initiatives, Carnival Corporation recently announced a series of actions being undertaken by each of its nine cruise line brands, including significantly reducing its purchase and consumption of non-essential single-use plastics by the end of 2021. The effort to dramatically reduce single-use plastics across its brands is part of an expansion of Operation Oceans Alive, the corporation's program to further its ongoing commitment to achieve and sustain environmental compliance and excellence. Carnival Corporation and its brands already have plans under way, including initiatives to reduce or eliminate plastic straws, cups, lids and bags, among other single-use items. The brands are also working to potentially eliminate individual servings of select packaged food items and other single-use plastics or decorative items used in food and beverage service as well as in staterooms. Through the ongoing efforts, the company's brands reduced the procurement of single-use plastics by 80 million items in 2019 while also reducing 95 million other single-use items, as compared to 2018.

OPLN officially launched last week with the introduction of its online community and leadership network available at OceanPlasticsLeadershipNetwork.com, an online repository of industry news, tools and research to promote and advance innovative solutions, projects and ideas from experts and advocates that will lead to collectively working to reduce plastic waste. The online network currently includes 50 members committed to collaborative solutions for plastic waste, including organizations representing elements of the development, distribution, purchase and retail use of plastic products.

"Our most important priorities are to operate safely, protect the environment and to be compliant everywhere we operate in the world," said Roger Frizzell, chief communications officer for Carnival Corporation. "Becoming a charter member of the Ocean Plastics Leadership Network is another important step in the many environmental compliance efforts that are under way across the company."

Organized by SoulBuffalo, which curates and produces summits and expeditions for corporate leaders, NGOs and innovators to develop solutions for environmental challenges, OPLN builds upon the company's first-annual Ocean Plastics Leadership Summit held in May 2019, which convened leading organizations in the plastics supply chain in one of the five oceanic gyres – which are large systems of rotating ocean currents – to experience plastic waste firsthand and to develop ideas and collaborations to accelerate solutions.

"The Ocean Plastics Leadership Network will provide an amazing platform for knowledge-sharing, creating amazing firsthand experiences and working together to achieve real change," said Dave Ford, CEO of SoulBuffalo and founder of OPLN. "Companies like Carnival Corporation coming onboard will be such an integral step to having this organization be relevant and effective."

In addition to being a charter member of OPLN, Carnival Corporation recently joined the Getting to Zero Coalition, an alliance of organizations across the maritime, energy, infrastructure and finance sectors committed to accelerating the decarbonization of the international shipping industry. The global coalition will work toward the maritime industry's goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from shipping through innovation and advancement, aspiring to having commercially viable zero emission deep sea vessels (ZEVs) entering the global shipping fleet as early as 2030. The alliance's ambition also includes scalable infrastructure for zero-carbon energy sources, including production, distribution, storage and bunkering.

Carnival Corporation and its cruise line brands are committed to developing solutions that support sustainability and environmentally friendly operations, as part of a broader corporate strategy that includes its commitment to further improve environmental compliance and performance. To date, the company achieved its 25% carbon rate reduction goal and is planning to reduce its carbon intensity by 40% by 2030.

Seabourn Announces Line-Up Of Speakers For 2020 Seabourn Conversations Program
Seabourn is featuring its latest line-up of distinguished speakers in 2020 as part of its popular Seabourn Conversations program. Designed to enlighten, inform and entertain guests, the complementary onboard enrichment program hosts guest speakers and personalities from a variety of fields including entertainment, adventure, government, journalism, and the arts.

The Seabourn Conversations schedule is populated with both first-time and notable returning speakers, and is featured on Seabourn's fleet of award-winning, intimate ships. In addition to sharing their expertise with guests, the speakers will also participate in the daily social scene, sharing meals, adventures ashore and casual conversations throughout the voyage.

"We are always thrilled to bring such accomplished experts and engaging personalities to enlighten our guests through Seabourn Conversations," said Chris Austin, Seabourn's senior vice president of Global Marketing & Sales. "Our guests have interesting backgrounds themselves and they truly enjoy hearing about and learning diverse insights, stories and perspectives on a variety of global topics from speakers all over the world."

Select speakers of the 2020 Seabourn Conversations program include:

• Bryan Fogel (Seabourn Sojourn, March 12-22, 2020) – An Academy-Award winning American film director, producer, author and playwright, Fogel is best known for his 2017 documentary Icarus, which took home the 2018 Oscar for "Best Documentary Feature".

• Sarri Tapales (Seabourn Sojourn, March 30 – April 6, 2020) – The creative producer and director of ARTKITEKTURA, a Festival of Architecture and the Arts in the Philippines, Tapales produces programs on architecture, ecology, culture and spirituality to promote ecological design thinking and invite a lively exchange of ideas across sectors.

• Sir Tim Rice (Seabourn Odyssey, April 8, 2020 voyage) – English author and lyricist Rice's talent has earned him awards at the Oscars, Golden Globes, Tonys and Grammys. Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1994, he is perhaps most renowned for his collaborations with Andrew Lloyd Webber on Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita and more. His production show, An Evening With Tim Rice, is currently playing fleetwide on all Seabourn ships.

• Sir Alan Collins (Seabourn Encore, May 5, 2020 voyage) – A veteran of high-ranking posts in the British Diplomatic Service, Collins has represented Britain all over the world in various capacities, including as Director-General, Trade & Investment USA; Ambassador to the Philippines; Deputy Ambassador to Ethiopia; and High Commissioner to Singapore, where he organized the 2006 State Visit by Her Majesty the Queen.

• Alison Wright (Seabourn Sojourn, May 7-20, 2020, Suva to Honolulu) – Award-winning documentary photographer Wright has traveled far and wide photographing endangered cultures and people while covering issues concerning the human condition. A contributor to National Geographic, she has published 10 books including her best-selling memoir, Learning to Breathe: One Woman's Journey of Spirit and Survival.

• Ted Libbey (Seabourn Sojourn, May 20-28, 2020, Honolulu to San Francisco) – One of America's most highly regarded music critics, Libbey spent 15 years as a commentator on NPR's "Performance Today". He has been Director of Media Arts at the National Endowment for the Arts; a music critic for The New York Times; as well as a regular pre-concert speaker at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC.

Atlas Ocean Voyages Acquires Four Additional Ships To Join World Navigator
Atlas Ocean Voyages announced today that it is adding four more ships to its fleet. The Luxe-Adventure cruise brand's fleet will total five ships by the end of 2023, with the first ship, World Navigator, launching in mid-2021. World Navigator's inaugural season is already open for reservations. Adventurers can choose among 10 exciting itineraries, ranging from seven to 15 nights throughout the Holy Land and Eastern Mediterranean, Western Mediterranean, and the Black Sea. The fleet expansion will allow Atlas Ocean Voyages to offer more itineraries in more global regions to accommodate the growing demand for the brand's distinctive, Luxe-Adventure journeys.

"We're happy to expand our fleet to five Luxe-Adventure cruise ships to sail under the Atlas Ocean Voyages brand," said Alberto Aliberti, President of Atlas Ocean Voyages. "Luxe-Adventure is all-inclusive, small-ship journeys with luxurious amenities, delivering limitless adventures, and we look forward to welcoming guests aboard our ships for unexpected discoveries, foodie immersion, and unique, adrenaline rushes. The immediate and positive response from the travel advisor community and early sales of World Navigator's inaugural 2021 season has played an important part in our decision to increase our capacity."

World Navigator is currently under construction. World Traveller and World Seeker are scheduled to launch in 2022 and World Adventurer and World Discoverer will launch in 2023.

"The four additions to our Luxe-Adventure fleet will allow us to significantly expand our collection of global adventures and offer more group and charter opportunities to meet growing demand," said Brandon Townsley, Vice President of Sales and Trade Partnerships. "We're combining smooth sailings in simple elegance to both remote and popular destinations with off-the-chart, bucket list-worthy shoreside and overland experiences that will be the most incredible journeys ever. We welcome all travel advisors to join the Luxe-Adventure movement and register as an Atlas Advisor at AtlasOceanVoyages.com."

Star Wars Day at Sea Returns in 2021
Out-of-this-world adventures return to Disney Cruise Line in 2021 with Star Wars Day at Sea. This special day-long celebration is filled with unique character encounters, unforgettable live shows and Star Wars-themed activities for the entire family. Star Wars Day at Sea takes place on seven-night Disney Fantasy cruises to the Caribbean from January through March.

With more than a dozen of the galaxy's most formidable and heroic characters onboard, guests can meet with the best of the Resistance including Chewbacca, C-3PO and R2-D2; come face-to-face with Darth Vader; and be on watch as Stormtroopers, Bounty Hunters and Jawas roam the ship.

Force-sensitive children learn the ways of the Jedi and use their new-found skills in a face-off against Darth Vader and Kylo Ren in Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple. The whole family can celebrate the greatest moments from the Star Wars galaxy with the "Summon the Force" deck party, complete with a fireworks show of galactic proportions.

Costume celebrations, movie screenings, trivia sessions, the Star Wars Drawing Academy and a ship-wide Porg-themed adventure are more of the ways families can feel the Force on Star Wars Day at Sea. Unique food and beverage and special merchandise are also available on these sailings in early 2021.

Star Wars Day at Sea Itineraries

With cruises to the Eastern and Western Caribbean, guests can celebrate their love of the Star Wars saga and enjoy tropical destinations, coupled with classic Disney magic and entertainment all week long onboard the Disney Fantasy. All Star Wars Day at Sea sailings make a stop in Castaway Cay, Disney's private island in the Bahamas reserved exclusively for Disney Cruise Line guests, home to pristine beaches, crystal blue waters and fun-filled leisure and recreational activities for all ages.

Star Wars Day at Sea will be offered on nine Disney Fantasy seven-night Caribbean cruises sailing from Port Canaveral, Florida.

• Departing Jan. 2, Jan. 16, Jan. 30, Feb. 13 and Feb. 27, the Western Caribbean itinerary includes Cozumel, Mexico; George Town, Grand Cayman; Falmouth, Jamaica; and Disney's private island in the Bahamas, Castaway Cay.

• Departing Jan. 9, Jan. 23 and Feb. 20, the Eastern Caribbean itinerary includes Tortola, St. Thomas and Castaway Cay.

• Departing Feb. 6, the Eastern Caribbean itinerary includes St. Maarten, St. Thomas and Castaway Cay.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 51.90 + 5.15%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 135.05 + 1.46%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.75 + 2.74%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 59.65 + 3.13%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Name the last pair of ocean liners to be built with an overhanging, counter stern (...such as on the Titanic and many other early twentieth century ocean liners).

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Name the last pair of ocean liners to be built with an overhanging, counter stern (...such as on the Titanic and many other early twentieth century ocean liners).

Answer - The SS Constitution and The SS Independence were last pair of liners to be built with a counter stern. They were built at Quincy, Mass in 1952. They were owned and operated by American Export Lines and sailed mostly the southern route from New York to Gibralter, Naples and Genoa with calls at other Meditteranean ports.
courtesy of Larry P. McDonald


Cruise News - January 13, 2020

Carnival Valor to Offer Two Trans-Atlantic Crossings in 2021
Carnival Valor will operate a pair of 15-day trans-Atlantic crossings next year – one departing Jan. 25, 2021, from New Orleans to Barcelona and another departing Feb. 26, 2021 from Barcelona to New Orleans.

The Jan. 25 departure includes day-long stops at Bermuda, Funchal (Madeira) Portugal, and Malaga and Valencia, Spain before arriving in Barcelona on Feb. 9, 2021.

Following its arrival in Barcelona, Carnival Valor will undergo a 17-day dry dock details of which will be announced in the coming months.

The ship will then embark on another trans-Atlantic voyage departing Barcelona Feb. 26 and arriving in New Orleans on March 13, 2021. Featured ports include Cartagena (Murcia) and Malaga, Spain; Funchal (Madeira); St. Maarten and San Juan.

Carnival Valor will resume its year-round four- and five-day schedule from New Orleans March 13, 2021.

Costa Atlantica Transferred to China State Shipbuilding Corporation
CSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping, a joint venture between China's largest shipbuilding company China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) and the U.S.-based Carnival Corporation, on Monday welcomed its newest fleet member.

The 85,861-tonnage and 2,210-passenger vessel, Costa Atlantica, was inked to be transferred from Carnival Corporation's Costa Cruises to CSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping as a result of the strategic partnership between CSSC and Carnival established during the first China International Import Expo held in Shanghai in 2018.

According to the plan, the 2,114-passenger Costa Mediterranea will also join the fleet by the end of this year, followed by six Vista vessels that will enter service starting from 2023.

"The efforts are further testament to the confidence bolstered by Carnival and CSSC, and their shared vision and commitment to growing together with the domestic cruise market," said CSSC-Carnival in a press release.

The global cruise industry is estimated to have seen the operation of 433 vessels carrying 28.5 million passengers in 2018. As the world's second-largest cruise market by passenger volume, Chinese travelers took 2.4 million cruise trips that same year.

"We will leverage the strong capabilities and rich resources of our parent companies to build a full-fledged flagship cruise company," said Roger Chen, managing director of CSSC-Carnival.

"The venture should help drive the sustained development of China's cruise industry and become a leading China-funded cruise company by optimizing its product offerings, improving its distribution systems and setting up an all-inclusive ecosystem," said Yang Guobing, chairman of CSSC-Carnival.

Port of Miami Smashes Passenger Record
PortMiami smashed its own world record in 2019, reporting a 22 percent increase in cruise passenger totals.

The Cruise Capital of the World hosted an all-time high 6,824,000 passengers for the 12-month period ending September 30, 2019, PortMiami confirmed on Tuesday.

"The strong performance at PortMiami, one of Miami-Dade County’s main economic engines, is great news for our community," said Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez, in a statement. "The growth figures confirm our role as a leading global gateway and demonstrate the continuing draw of the Port. I am proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish. I want to thank our cruise and cargo partners for working with PortMiami’s Director and CEO Juan M. Kuryla and his team on extending their business relationships. I will continue to work with the Port and its partners on additional opportunities. Everybody stands to gain from sustainable growth at our seaport."

Looking ahead, PortMiami announced that it has secured a series of long-term deals and new terminal developments with a handful of key partners, including Carnival Corporation, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line Bahamas, Terminal Link Miami, and Virgin Voyages.

The partnerships are expected to generate about $7.8 billion in economic impact to South Florida and support as many as 27,500 new direct, induced and indirect jobs annually.

"New facilities, including cruise terminals and berths, are in the works to accommodate the industry’s new generation of vessels," said the Chairwoman of the Tourism and the Ports Committee Rebeca Sosa in a statement. "I am so proud of PortMiami, what it has accomplished, and where it’s heading."

Nieuw Amsterdam Cruise Cancelled Due To Pod Problems
Holland America Line had to cancel the December 14, 2019 voyage aboard the Nieuw Amsterdam due to unexpected technical issue. The ship experienced problems with the Azipod propulsion which slowed the speed over the last night of the previous cruise resulting in late arrival at the homeport Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Nieuw Amsterdam was scheduled to sail on a 7 night Eastern Caribbean voyage, but the cruise ship did not leave the dock at Fort Lauderdale on Saturday. The cruise line notified all guests who have booked this cruise that it was canceled due to issue’s with one of the ship’s Azipod propellers and the ship will go to dry dock for repairs.

Holland America Line released the following announcement:

“Due to an unexpected technical issue with one of two Azipod propulsion systems on Nieuw Amsterdam the roundtrip Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Dec. 14 Caribbean cruise has been canceled. While the ship can safely sail with one Azipod, to do so requires approval from several regulatory authorities which is still in progress. Given the impact of the delay on delivering a satisfactory itinerary for guests, a decision was made to cancel the cruise at 2 p.m. EDT today.

All guests have been notified of the cancellation and had the choice of remaining on board overnight alongside in Port Everglades or disembarking the ship. Holland America Line worked with guests to assist with travel arrangements and provide support. Several guests were re-booked on other Holland America Line cruises departing Fort. Lauderdale the same day.

Guests will receive a full refund of cruise fare and taxes paid, hotel package costs, prepaid shore excursions and amenities, and any additional travel fees resulting from rebooking air tickets. They will also receive a 100% Future Cruise Credit equal to the amount of the cruise fare paid.

It is not known at this time what impact there may be on upcoming Nieuw Amsterdam sailings.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 49.36 + 2.03%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 133.11 + 1.12%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.73 - 3.95%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 57.84 + 1.83%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Name the last pair of ocean liners to be built with an overhanging, counter stern (...such as on the Titanic and many other early twentieth century ocean liners).

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Name the former Holland America liner that along with QE2 ended up being one of last two passenger ships to cross the Atlantic on a regular basis.

Answer - The former Atlantic liner that sailed with QE2 was the Stefan Batory of Polish Ocean Lines. She was formerly Holland America's Maasdam.
courtesy of Michael Ohalloran


Cruise News - January 6, 2020

Four Carnival Corporation Brands Will Launch New Cruise Ships in 2020
Carnival Corporation today announced it will launch four new cruise ships in 2020 across four of its global cruise line brands – Iona for P&O Cruises UK, Britain's favorite cruise line; Enchanted Princess for Princess Cruises, the fastest growing international premium cruise line; Mardi Gras for Carnival Cruise Line, America's cruise line; and Costa Firenze for Italian brand Costa Cruises.

Iona marks the first new ship for P&O Cruises since the introduction of Britannia in 2015. Enchanted Princess is designed from the ground up as a Princess MedallionClass ship. Costa Firenze is Costa Cruises' second ship designed and built specifically for the China market. Mardi Gras is named as a tribute to TSS Mardi Gras, Carnival Cruise Line's first-ever ship, which marked a historic turning point in accelerating growth in the popularity of modern-day cruising.

P&O Cruises' Iona and Carnival Cruise Line's Mardi Gras will be the third and fourth (respectively) of Carnival Corporation's 11 total next-generation cruise ships joining the fleet through 2025 that can be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), the industry's most advanced fuel technology, eliminating sulfur and significantly improving overall air emissions.

Part of Carnival Corporation's strategy of measured capacity growth, each new ship provides an opportunity to introduce new guest innovations, energy efficiencies and sustainability approaches to cruising, while creating excitement, meeting growing demand and generating consideration of cruising as an extraordinary vacation at an exceptional value. The introduction of the four new ships in 2020 is part of Carnival Corporation's ongoing fleet enhancement strategy, with 16 new ships scheduled to be delivered through 2025, designed to continue improving the overall guest experience while accelerating demand for cruising, the fastest growing segment in the vacation industry.

These new ships build on the momentum of Carnival Corporation's four new vessels launched with rave reviews in 2019 – Carnival Cruise Line's Carnival Panorama, Costa Cruises' Costa Smeralda and Costa Venezia, and Sky Princess from Princess Cruises.

"Each new ship is an opportunity to generate excitement and buzz among consumers around the world, whether loyal guests or new to cruising, that will continue to inspire more travelers to consider cruising as a vacation option," said Roger Frizzell, chief communications officer for Carnival Corporation. "We look forward to the delivery of four more spectacular ships, which will offer our guests the latest in onboard features and amenities – and help us continue our reputation for providing great cruise vacations that are significantly less than comparable land-based vacations."

Below is a brief look at Carnival Corporation's four new ships for 2020:

Iona from P&O Cruises (UK) – May 2020
When Iona joins the P&O Cruises (UK) fleet in May, it will launch as the popular British line's first LNG-powered ship. Among the distinguishing characteristics of Iona will be the Grand Atrium, a new development for the cruise line with uninterrupted panoramic views of the sea, framed by glazed walls stretching three decks high. Located at the heart of Iona, the glazed Grand Atrium is a lively focal point that encapsulates the spirit of the ship, with each level offering natural light and breath-taking views.

Iona's distinct "crown" will be the SkyDome, a new entertainment venue on the top two levels of the ship and capped by a glass-domed roof designed by award-winning British engineers Eckersley O'Callaghan, the team behind glass masterpieces such as London's Embassy Gardens Sky Pool and Bulgari's flagship New York boutique. SkyDome's unique event space offers an ideal place for relaxation and informal dining during the day, transitioning into vibrant evening activities, including spectacular aerial performances, immersive shows and deck parties.

With a choice of 30 different bar and restaurant venues, Iona's guests will enjoy the widest ever selection of places to eat and drink on a ship built exclusively for the British cruise holiday market. Innovative and flexible dining options include a "foodie" market offering cuisine from around the world, a new gastropub concept and a laid-back cocktail lounge.

As part of the new approach to dining, Iona will for the first time offer Freedom Dining in all of its main restaurants, giving guests more flexibility for dining. As with other ships in the P&O Cruises fleet, Iona will have The Retreat, a private, open-air deck area where cold flannels, chilled drinks, snacks and al fresco spa treatments are offered in the privacy of shaded cabanas. Iona's Retreat will also have two infinity whirlpools.

Another new offering is the spa's variety of destination-themed treatments with locally inspired therapies incorporated into the experience. Cruise guests might choose from rejuvenating options such as the Nordic Cleanse or the Baltic & Ice Massage, inspired by the Nordic heritage of hot and cold therapies.

Upon launch in May 2020, Iona will sail from Southampton, United Kingdom, exclusively to the Norwegian Fjords during the inaugural season with departures throughout spring and summer 2020, followed by winter sun holidays to the Canaries, Spain and Portugal.

Enchanted Princess from Princess Cruises – June 2020
Debuting in Rome (Civitavecchia) in June 2020, the 3,660-guest Enchanted Princess shares all of the spectacular style and luxury of its sister ships – Regal Princess, Royal Princess, Majestic Princess and the recently launched Sky Princess. Guests will discover exquisite, one-of-a-kind dining experiences, more pools and whirlpool hot tubs and world-class entertainment venues hosting dazzling performances. The ship also will feature breathtaking Sky Suites, with expansive views from the largest balconies at sea, which originally debuted on Sky Princess in October 2019.

Measuring 1,012 square feet (starboard side Sky Suite) and 947 square feet (port side Sky Suite), the furnished balconies will provide a private vantage of the ship's Movie Under the Stars screen and create the ultimate space for entertaining. The two suites will also offer 270-degree panorama views and have sleeping capacity for five guests, and more room for gathering – making them ideal for families. Before Sky Suite guests board their cruise ship, they can take advantage of a pre-cruise, shoreside concierge. Once onboard, guests will also enjoy Sanctuary services on their balcony, a private suite experience manager, complimentary access to the Lotus Spa's Enclave, enhanced ultimate balcony dining and even a deluxe telescope for Discovery Stargazing at Sea.

Enchanted Princess will offer new entertainment experiences recently introduced on Sky Princess, including Phantom Bridge, a world's first game combining digital and physical elements for the ultimate immersive escape room; Take Five, the only jazz theater at sea, celebrating the iconic sounds, culture and history of jazz; and new one-of-a-kind production shows like Rock Opera created exclusively for Princess Cruises.

In addition, Enchanted Princess marks the second ship purpose-built MedallionClass newbuild. Featuring the complimentary OceanMedallion™ wearable device, MedallionClass vacations deliver an entirely new level of service and create a vacation that is more seamless, effortless and personalized. Considered a breakthrough in the vacation industry and a CES 2019 Innovation Award Honoree, the complimentary OceanMedallion features leading-edge technology that delivers personalized service through enhanced guest-crew interactions, while eliminating friction points and enabling interactive entertainment.

Debuting in the Mediterranean in June 2020, Enchanted Princess will be named in Southampton, United Kingdom, and depart on its 10-day maiden voyage July 1 to Rome, where it will begin a series of Mediterranean cruises for the summer and fall before repositioning to Fort Lauderdale in November 2020 for sailings to the Caribbean for the winter season.

Mardi Gras from Carnival Cruise Line – November 2020
In a nod to Carnival Cruise Line's rich history as America's Cruise Line, the brand's newest ship Mardi Gras was named in honor of the first Carnival Cruise Line ship that entered service in 1972 and played a leading role in generating widespread popularity for cruise vacations in the U.S. Mardi Gras will be the first cruise ship in North America to be powered by LNG, the marine industry's most advanced fuel technology.

Carnival Cruise Line's most innovative ship, Mardi Gras will feature groundbreaking experiences like the first roller coaster at sea, BOLT: Ultimate Sea Coaster. The thrill ride offers 360-degree views while guests race 187 feet above the sea with drops, dips and hairpin turns reaching speeds of up to 40 miles per hour. Guests can choose their own speed on the all-electric roller coaster so no two rides will ever be the same.

BOLT will take center stage in the Ultimate Playground, spanning Decks 18-20 and home to the largest WaterWorks aqua park in the Carnival Cruise Line fleet, featuring three unique heart-racing slides designed for all-ages, an exciting zone designed specifically for kids with a 150-gallon PowerDrencher tipping bucket and numerous water toys. Mardi Gras will introduce Emeril's Bistro 1396, the first seagoing restaurant by famed New Orleans chef Emeril Lagasse that will be housed in the ship's French Quarter, one of six themed zones on board offering a variety of food, beverage and entertainment choices.

Entertainment will be at the heart of Mardi Gras' onboard experience with never-before-seen offerings including a first-in-fleet partnership with Family Feud, new high-tech Playlist Productions shows, a dedicated Punchliner Comedy Club, and new live music and entertainment options.

Mardi Gras is set to debut in November 2020, operating year-round seven-day Caribbean cruises from Port Canaveral.

Costa Firenze from Costa Cruises – October 2020
Costa Firenze is the second ship for Costa Cruises built specifically for the China market, where the Italian company was the first international cruise line to start operating in 2006.

Inspired by the city of Florence and representing centuries of Italian culture and history, Costa Firenze will offer guests the chance to fully immerse themselves in Italian beauty and aesthetics, which will take shape in various aspects of life on board from interior design to dining and entertainment to hospitality.

Like its sister ship Costa Venezia, Costa Firenze will offer a series of innovations designed specifically for the Chinese market, including a wide choice of Chinese food, Chinese-style karaoke and parties such as the "Golden Party" with surprises and gifts awarded every 10 minutes.

Following its delivery scheduled for September 30, Costa Firenze will head to China, offering cruising for Chinese customers beginning October 20, 2020.

Seabourn Elevates Tea Time With An Enhanced Daily Afternoon Tea Service
Seabourn is inviting guests to sip tea at sea with an enhancement on the cruise line's beloved Afternoon Tea Service across the entire fleet. Steeped in the tradition of proper English tea service, yet as fresh and memorable as a newly brewed pot, the cruise line's new daily tea service is the latest innovation designed to ensure that every detail of the Seabourn experience is constantly evolving and delighting guests near and far.

The key element of Seabourn's new Afternoon Tea Service is the line's addition of the finest luxury tea brand TWG Tea. Established in Singapore in 2008, TWG Tea (which stands for The Wellbeing Group) offers the largest collection of over 800 different single-estate, fine harvests, and exclusive tea blends from renowned tea estates in every tea-producing region around the globe.

"We are always looking at ways to take the amenities and services at the heart of the Seabourn cruise experience to the next level, and our new Afternoon Tea Service does just that," said Gerald Mosslinger, Seabourn's senior vice president of Hotel Operations and Onboard Revenue. "New guests will be delightfully surprised, while returning guests already familiar with our tea traditions will be impressed with the upgrades we've made to brighten their afternoons."

In keeping with English tradition, Seabourn's new Afternoon Tea Service is nestled conveniently between lunch and dinner, available from 4 – 5 p.m. daily in the Observation Bar. Loose-leaf tea selections from TWG Tea, the finest luxury tea brand whose collection is the largest in the world, include choices such as English Earl Grey, Imperial Lapsang Souchong, and Highlands BOP Ceylon. They are delivered to the table by the highly trained staff and properly served on handcrafted china from Bernardaud, the family-owned French porcelain company originally established in Limoges, France in 1863. Bernardaud remains in the elite of design and innovation and each piece that bears the company's signature brings the grace of simple luxury to everyday life and demonstrates that, after two thousand years, porcelain continues to prove its worth as an exceptional material.

Afternoon Tea will also be accompanied by a set selection of sweet desserts and savory snacks that will change daily on a rotating cycle, including gluten-free and vegetarian options, presented upon a stylish three-tiered display tray at the guest's table in the Observation Bar. A sand clock, started as soon as the tea hits the water, is left at the table to ensure that guests can steep their tea precisely the way they like it while the service staff explains the tea's origins and how different steeping times can enhance the flavor.

Afternoon Tea is a traditional British tea service served at 4 p.m. between lunch and dinner, focused on serving light fare that includes scones, finger sandwiches, jam and marmalade. With roots going back for generations, history says that Afternoon Tea dates back to the mid-1800s and the Duchess of Bedford. At the time, kerosene lamps in wealthier homes helped usher in a late dinner, often served around 8 or 9 p.m., leaving people of the era, including the Duchess, feeling a bit hungry between meals. She decided to regularly invite friends over for tea and a selection of snacks during the late afternoon.

The idea of Afternoon Tea eventually spread across society, growing into a social occasion that continues to draw people together for interesting conversation to this day.

Seabourn's enhanced Afternoon Tea Service is now being offered across the Seabourn fleet, with the TWG brand implementation ongoing and set to be completed in the coming weeks.

Seabourn's High Tea, a variation on Afternoon Tea, is offered on select afternoons with formal white glove service and live cooking features or themed menu options as accompaniments. Examples of High Tea themes may include The "Viennese" High Tea with Applestrudel, The "Parisian" High Tea with Crêpes Suzette, The "Venetian" High Tea with Zabaione, and The "Royal" High Tea with English Triffle, which will typically feature more substantial food items than the Afternoon Tea service. Live piano music also accompanies the High Tea experience.

Carnival Introduces ‘The Fun Ones,’ New Marketing Campaign
Carnival Cruise Line has launched a new marketing campaign, “The Fun Ones,” that celebrates the playful spirit of Carnival’s guests, how they choose fun, and the unique bond they have with their fellow cruisers who are “shamelessly true to themselves.”

An evolution of the brand’s Choose Fun campaign that launched in 2018 and introduced Shaquille O’Neal as the company’s Chief Fun Officer, the Fun Ones, created in tandem with advertising agency of record Anomaly, showcases those guests who embrace life by being their most fun-selves on board. Combining vibrant imagery with tag lines like “The Fun Ones Plan for No Plans” and “Choose a Vacation as Fun as You,” the campaign conveys the everyone-is-welcome atmosphere that attracts nearly 6 million guests annually and how they make vacations more fun, while reminding viewers that when guests board a Carnival ship, they’re not sailing with strangers – they’re among friends.

vThis message is delivered in out-of-home elements along with 15-, 30- and 60-second commercials airing in key markets such as Los Angeles, Dallas, Atlanta, Tampa, Houston and Orlando on television and radio, as well as national digital properties including YouTube and Hulu. To view one of the spots, click here. In one spot, a guest goes “full flamingo” and dons a pink flamingo-shaped inner tube as he shamelessly struts along the Lido Deck much to the delight of his fellow shipmates, while a bride playfully takes a plunge into the pool instead of tossing her bouquet to the crowd. “We all have a ‘Fun One’ in our lives – someone we love to be around or want to be like and this campaign showcases the exuberant spirit of our guests who truly make a Carnival cruise a vacation like no other,” said Pete Callaro, senior vice president of brand and product marketing for Carnival Cruise Line. “When consumers see the new spots, they will recognize the ‘Fun One’ in their lives and be inspired to have that fun together on a Carnival cruise.”

Cruise Lines Offer Adventure Excursions to Remember Forever
Cruise passengers set sail for many reasons. They may want to journey to a white sand beach to relax, explore the history of a region, delve into local culture or admire the scenery and wildlife. Then, there are those who see a cruise vacation as opportunity to try something completely new for a thrill of a lifetime.

Adventure shore excursions organized by cruise lines at ports around the world provide the kind of experiences that will have you telling your friends back home, "Yes, I did that on my vacation."

In Ocho Rios, Jamaica, guests on Carnival Cruise Line ships might ride the Mystic Mountain Sky Explorer chairlift up 700 feet through the forest and then feel the adrenaline rush as they race 3,280 feet on a bobsled ride inspired by the famous Jamaican Olympic team. Continue the adventure flying through a tree canopy on a zipline.

For aerial fun at Mahogany Bay in Roatan, Honduras, hop on the Magical Flying Beach Chair that takes guests to the beach via a six-minute ride across nearly 1,200 feet of suspended cables. If that seems too tame, take a leap of faith on the more extreme zipline and beach adventure, traveling up to 70 feet above lush jungle, ravines and water. Or head off on an adventure park excursion that combines a 12-line zipline, eight suspension bridges and two superman ziplines – where you are attached in the middle of your back, spread your arms, and "fly."

At the Rainforest Adventures St. Maarten - Rockland Estate, an eco-park attraction, get a rush on the Flying Dutchman, the world's steepest zipline, reaching speeds of up to 56 miles per hour as you drop 1,050 feet in elevation. The St. Maarten adventure experience begins with a ride on the Soualida Sky Explorer chairlift that gets you up Sentry Hill. For added exhilaration, slide down the mountain on an inner tube, twisting and turning on a specially designed track.

Cozumel is the most visited cruise destination in the Caribbean, and from the Puerta Maya pier, cruise passengers might book an excursion to snorkel with 30-foot-long whale sharks, the world's largest fish. Or boast about your experience as you helmet dive to the world's first underwater oxygen bar, the Clear Lounge Cozumel.

Sun-seekers on Mexican Riviera itineraries, such as one-week cruises from Long Beach on Carnival Cruise Line's new 4,008-passenger Carnival Panorama, may want to consider "The Greatest Outdoor Adventure" excursion. From Puerto Vallarta, the unforgettable experience includes a turn on a new rollercoaster zipline that combines the free-flying sensation of a zip line with the twists and turns of a roller-coaster. That's not all. You also ride an inflatable speedboat, head off-road in a 4x4 and climb aboard a mule, then switch to additional ziplines and rappelling into natural pools.

In Cabo San Lucas, adventure types will want to experience off-road driving in Baja, taking the wheel of a UTV to tear it up on canyon terrain that includes rocks, hills and a brook, plus drive across what's billed as the longest suspension bridge in the world, a 1,082.67-foot expanse, 162 feet above the ground at its lowest point. Or travel into the heart of Boca de la Sierra, one of UNESCO´s protected biosphere reserves, to traverse seven breathtaking ziplines, the highest of which (at 4,000 feet) is Mexico's fastest and longest superman zipline.

Europe has its own share of adventure tour experiences. From Vigo, Spain, guests on the ships of British line P&O Cruises might choose to experience the thrill of white-water rafting on the rapids of the Mino River, traveling with experienced guides on inflatable rafts. In western Norway, adventures include taking the scenic Flåm railway into the mountains with a stop at the roaringly impressive Kjosfossen waterfall, then riding the longest zipline in Scandinavia, zooming down some 4,500 feet.

Or you can jump off a cliff into the sea, with German line AIDA Cruises, which takes passengers to the spectacular "Baía d'Abra" on the Portuguese island of Madeira for a walk and climb over impressive rocks with opportunity for intrepid travelers to cliff jump (there's also the option of dipping in the Atlantic without the jumping part).

On Baltic sailings that visit Stockholm, an option for guests of lines including Italy-based Costa Cruises is a fun tour that explores the city via its rooftops. You wear a safety harness and helmet and hook on to steel cables to walk on rooftops some 108 feet above the ground for views. From Akureyri in northern Iceland, you might put on a helmet and carry a flashlight to explore the underground ice caves of Lofthellir, with their breathtaking natural ice sculptures.

Guests of AIDA Cruises visiting the Middle Eastern Country of Bahrain might explore the world of Formula 1 racing and off-road action, visiting the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC). The tour of the track includes a chance to drive a 4x4 car on an adventure course, with different obstacles along the way.

P&O Cruises Australia appeals to adventurous types with a wealth of experiences taking in the natural surroundings. From Cairns, experience "Rooster Tail," "Cheese Churn" and "Hells Gate" on the Barron River in Queensland on a wild rapids ride. It's an adrenaline rush as you swoosh through gorges and past stunning waterfalls and lush rainforest.

Guests enjoying a P&O Cruises Australia vacation to the South Pacific island of Vanuatu can test their adventurous streak on a zipline suspended in the treetops at Summit Hill, with the valley floor some 262 feet below.

In Alaska, an adventure experience is a must-do, with a myriad of options such as flightseeing, mountain biking, kayaking, ATV riding, ziplining and fishing tours to catch salmon or halibut. You can put on a dry suit or wetsuit and snorkel in Alaska to see multicolored sea urchins, sea cucumbers and other fascinating sea life.

On Princess Cruises, Holland America Line and Cunard – which will do its first full season of cruises in Alaska in 2020 – take a deluxe tour that involves helicoptering to the top of a glacier for a dogsled ride with a professional musher. In addition to the thrill of being on a sled and seeing amazing scenery you'll learn about the care the huskies receive.

Seabourn, with its Ventures by Seabourn program, adds opportunity to get close to nature on exciting private zodiac, hiking and kayaking tours led by the line's experienced expeditions team. You might follow a pod of whales, while admiring eagles overhead. In addition to Alaska, the Ventures program is available in such places as Antarctica, Norway and the Amazon.

Princess Cruises, with its partnership with Discovery™ and Animal Planet, has adventures such as whale watching or visiting a dog sled camp, with special activities that would appeal to kids ages 3 to 12. For grownups and kids age 12 and up, a once-in-a-lifetime Discovery-recommended Helicopter Glacier Trek has you landing on a glacier in the Juneau Icefield and putting on crampons to go trekking on the blue ice.

Holland America Line has such extraordinary shore experiences as hele-hiking, rock climbing and riding on the historic White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad for a snowshoe adventure in the snowy upper reaches of the Tormented Valley in northern British Columbia. These are the sorts of excursions that will have you breathing deeply and thinking, "Wow, it's good to be alive."

Recommendation: Make sure you read any fitness requirements, age and weight requirements before booking an adventure excursion. You'll want to reserve a tour in advance of your cruise, as these small group experiences are very popular.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 48.38 - 5.17%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 131.63 - 1.29%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.76 - 2.56%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 56.80 - 3.06%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Name the former Holland America liner that along with QE2 ended up being one of last two passenger ships to cross the Atlantic on a regular basis.

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Only two four-stack ships were built for service on a route other than the North Atlantic. Name either of these ships and the route they were built for?

Answer - The ships were called Windsor Castle and Arundal Castle and were built for the Union Castle mail run from Southampton to Cape Town. The were re-engined in the late 30s to increase their speed to meet a new mail contract and had a graceful clipper bow fitted. Windsor Castle was lost in World War II but Arundal Castle continued in service until about 1960.
courtesy of Peter Stafford


Cruise News - December 30, 2019

NCL Becomes First Major Global Cruise Company to Eliminate Single-Use Plastic Beverage Bottles Across Fleet
Norwegian Cruise Line is now single-use plastic beverage bottle free across its fleet.

The brand announced last year that it partnered with JUST Goods, Inc., which enabled the Cruise Line to replace all single-use plastic water bottles across its 17-ship fleet, beginning with its most recent ship, Norwegian Encore.

The achievement is one of the latest sustainable steps forward for Norwegian Cruise Line. In 2018, the Company eliminated single-use plastic straws across its fleet and private destinations, and as a result of this most recent initiative, it will replace over six million single-use plastic water bottles every year. In addition, the brand is working to eliminate single-use plastic shampoo and conditioner bottles later this year. These efforts are driven by the Company’s Sail & Sustain Environmental Program, which is its commitment to minimize waste to landfills, reduce its CO2 emissions rate, increase sustainable sourcing and invest in emerging technologies.

“This is a very special and very proud moment for us,” said Harry Sommer, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. “As a leading cruise line, we are thrilled to make such an impact by eliminating single-use beverage bottles across our fleet. It’s just one of the ways we are working to preserve our oceans and the destinations we visit. While this is just the beginning of what we and others can do, we are incredibly committed to our Sail & Sustain program and believe wholeheartedly in the importance of preserving our natural resources. We will continue to strive towards making environmentally conscious decisions to benefit our earth.”

Envisioned and founded by American rapper, songwriter, actor and activist Jaden Smith and family, JUST takes an innovative approach to sourcing and packaging the world’s most valued resource - water. The revolutionary company focuses on an impact model, taking into consideration both how the water is sourced and packaged. JUST is 100% spring water in a plant-based carton. The carton is made of 82% renewable materials – the paper carton is made from trees grown in responsibly-managed forests and the cap and shoulder are made from a sugarcane-based plastic. It is refillable and recyclable. JUST has a global presence with bottling facilities in Glenn Falls, NY; Ballymena, Northern Ireland; and Ballarat, Australia, thus allowing the company to meet demand around the world without shipping water from a single production source. JUST takes care to use the most efficient shipping options available.

Celebrity Cruises’ Announces 2021-2022 Season Of Sailings
Celebrity Cruises invites guests to discover a world of new with the unveiling of their 2021-22 season of sailings, where the brand’s growing fleet of 14 stunning ships will visit more than 280 destinations in nearly 75 countries across all seven continents.

“Our mission at Celebrity Cruises is to open up the world for our guests,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. “For our 2021-22 season of sailings, we’ve searched the planet to curate the most incredible new and world-opening vacation experiences we could find. We’ll bring you to places that will stay with you long after you’ve left them, including new ports of call in Europe, Asia, South America, and Alaska.”

Celebrity’s lineup of destinations is expanding to include eight spectacular new ports of call in 2021-22, including Taranto, Italy; Salvador de Bahia, Brazil; Ilocos, Philippines; Ishigaki, Japan; three new ports in Greece – Zakynthos, Hydra, and Thessaloniki; and the Kenai Peninsula in Homer, Alaska, the highlight of a brand-new Cruisetour debuting in 2021. The brand’s new season of sailings will also feature more than 125 overnight stays in more than 30 of the world’s most dynamic places, including a new overnight stay in Porto, Portugal, and the chance to celebrate New Year’s Eve with a Latin twist in the vibrant city of Montevideo, Uruguay.

Of course, the highly awarded Celebrity Edge is a destination in itself – named one of the World’s Greatest Places of 2019 by TIME Magazine – and the second-in-series Celebrity Apex is poised to double that perfection.

Lutoff-Perlo continued: “Not only are we sailing to exciting new places, but we’re introducing stunning new spaces across more of our award-winning fleet as THE CELEBRITY REVOLUTION reaches its peak, marking the first time guests will be able to sail to all the regions we visit on ‘revolutionized’ ships.”

In the new season, the newly modernized Celebrity Solstice will mark a historic first: The first ship in Celebrity’s groundbreaking Solstice Series to sail Asia. Celebrity Eclipse will also return to the Last Frontier for the first time since its “revolutionary” transformation, while Celebrity Infinity will sail its first Mediterranean season since being transformed from bow to stern. Celebrity Millennium is also charting a new course for the warm, turquoise waters of the Caribbean, offering two exciting new itineraries, including a 10-night Eastern Caribbean itinerary and a short, four-night weekend escape calling Key West, Florida, and Nassau, Bahamas.

Michelin-Starred Chef Michel Roux Jr to Headline Cunard’s First Ever “Festival of Food and Wine” Voyage
Cunard Linne has announced a world-class line up for their first ever ‘Festival of Food & Wine’ on board flagship Queen Mary 2. Guests will enjoy an array of cooking demonstrations, wine pairings and events hosted by a variety of food and wine experts onboard.

The seven-night Transatlantic Crossing, which departs Southampton, England on June 7 and arrives in New York on June 14, 2020, will bring together some of the most leading officials in the food and wine industry, including legendary chef Michel Roux Jr.

Michel Roux Jr. is the owner of one of the UK’s finest Michelin-starred French cuisine restaurants, Le Gavroche. While onboard, he will indulge guests in a feast of the senses with a series of hosted dinners in The Verandah restaurant as well as a three-course signature gala meal in the Britannia Grill. He will be joined by Le Gavroche Executive Chef, Rachel Humphrey, as they hold cooking demonstrations and a Q&A during the voyage.

“Following on from the success of Voyage du Vin last year, we are delighted to be expanding the concept on board Queen Mary 2 in June 2020,” said Josh Leibowitz, SVP Cunard North America. “Guests will be able to indulge their taste buds as they sample delicious wines and meals prepared by one of the world’s leading Michelin-starred chefs, Michel Roux Jr.”

Michel Roux Jr. said, “I am thrilled to be joining Cunard on the first ever Food & Wine voyage on their flagship Queen Mary 2, alongside various experts in their fields. For the first time ever, I will be taking Le Gavroche to sea – offering spectacular meals for guests to enjoy across the week. This will be a very special voyage, and I can’t wait to get on board.”

In addition, award-winning wine writer and columnist Will Lyons, Food Editor Lisa Markwell and celebrated wine critic Steven Spurrier will be offering their valuable insight and knowledge on the food and wine industry. While onboard, guests will be able to further indulge in the atmosphere by joining the Cunard Wine Academy and gaining a WSET Level 1 award during the crossing, a recognized qualification by the Wine and Spirit Education Trust.

Carnival Panorama Features Largest Retail Collection in the Fleet
After a successful debut in Long Beach, Calif. last week, Carnival Cruise Line revealed that Carnival Panorama features the largest retail collection in its fleet.

Among the new offerings is the line’s most expansive beauty footprint at sea with interactive hands-on events, mini-makeovers and beauty workshops such as smoky eye tutorials and contouring classes as well as a shop dedicated to the launch of the line’s reimagined and fashion-forward logo merchandise collection.

“We are thrilled to launch our most fun shopping experience in the fleet onboard Carnival Panorama. We’ve partnered with brands that our guests love and have introduced new brands that are sure to become Carnival fan favorites,” said William Butler, vice president of retail services for Carnival Cruise Line. “Our Panorama retail experience allows our guests to Choose Fun however they want whether it’s sporting a new beauty brand or fun designs from our new logo apparel assortment.”

At the new ‘Beauty Bar’ on Deck 5, beauty specialists guide guests as they indulge in the best makeover experiences at sea – perfect for a night on board or a special occasion. The Beauty Bar features an assortment of top skincare, cosmetics and fragrance brands including Urban Decay, Dior, Estée Lauder, and Clinique, among others.

Other onboard retail offerings include the largest Effy jewelry assortment in the fleet with exclusive Carnival Panorama pieces and a first-ever Carnival-branded inaugural collection; Carnival’s most expansive watch assortment with fine and fashion timepieces; terrific branded shop experiences with John Hardy and Swarovski; along with retail items connected to the Pixels Photo Gallery experience and shore excursions from Carnival Adventures.

Carnival Panorama’s new logo collection includes hundreds of exclusive items that combine fashionable designs and patterns with fun and reimagined takes on the line’s signature red, white and blue winged funnel and “Choose Fun” tag line. The line partnered with artists to further expand the assortment, giving guests a unique take on souvenir items that evoke special memories from their Carnival cruise experiences.

The assortment features nearly 100 items as part of a Carnival Panorama inaugural retail collection, a “California Collection” with designs inspired by the Golden State and all of the classic logo items that guests know and love.

“For this collection, we listened to our guests who are spirited ambassadors of the brand and pushed our prior design boundaries to create an incredible assortment of lifestyle-based logo options that put the fun in FUNction and fashion,” said Butler.

Carnival Panorama is also home to the largest Cherry on Top in the fleet offering more than just tempting treats. In addition to the line’s widest candy assortment with 120 kinds of bulk candy, the “sweetest spot on board” also offers a host of new novelty products including a whimsical Dr. Seuss at Sea collection in collaboration with longtime partner Dr. Seuss Enterprises.

Carnival Panorama began year-round seven-day Mexican Riviera cruises on Dec. 14, 2019, with stops in Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 51.02 - 0.47%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 133.35 - 0.04%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.78 + 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 58.59 + 0.14%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Only two four-stack ships were built for service on a route other than the North Atlantic. Name either of these ships and the route they were built for?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
In which year and on which vessels were the first bathrooms installed?

Answer - 1870, aboard Abyssinia & Algeria.
courtesy of Herbert VanDeGraft


Cruise News - December 23, 2019

Carnival Cruise Line Revises Delivery Date For Mardi Gras
Carnival Cruise Line has been informed by officials at the Meyer Turku shipyard that delivery of Mardi Gras will be delayed and is advising booked guests and travel advisors that the first revenue sailing of the ship will be Nov. 14, 2020.

With this new schedule, Carnival will now take delivery of the ship in late October and its first revenue sailing will depart from Port Canaveral on Nov. 14, 2020. Consequently, the first eight sailings that were scheduled starting Aug. 31 have been cancelled, including European, transatlantic and New York-based itineraries and four Port Canaveral itineraries.

Carnival said that the guest notification process began promptly after the notice by Meyer Turku so that impacted guests could begin to make alternative vacation plans. As a gesture of goodwill, Carnival is offering these guests a 25 percent future cruise credit (FCC), in addition to the full refund of their cruise fare (and applicable fees and taxes and other pre-purchased cruise components), as well as assistance with non-refundable airline and hotel reservations already booked. In addition, if guests rebook their cruise vacation using their 25 percent FCC by Feb. 18, 2020, they will be credited with an additional $100 per person onboard credit for that cruise. Carnival has also communicated guidelines to travel advisors regarding commission protection.

"We have been working closely with Meyer Turku executives to keep the Mardi Gras delivery on schedule, and while we deeply regret disappointing our guests, this change in the delivery date is required to make sure all of the ship's systems, features and technology will be fully operational, so that we can give our guests the vacation they expect. Our commitment is to deliver a great and innovative ship, and Mardi Gras will definitely be that when it arrives in North America," said Ben Clement, Carnival Cruise Line's senior vice president of newbuild.

Odyssey of the Seas To Make Bold, European Entrance
Royal Caribbean International's newest ship, Odyssey of the Seas, will deliver a bold lineup of sought-after destinations as the first Quantum Ultra Class ship to homeport in Rome and sail through the Eastern Mediterranean for the summer season. Royal Caribbean's game-changing ship will be the first to tout a combination of longer stays in every destination and overnights across some of the Mediterranean's most luring cities and famed beach destinations. The highly anticipated ship will debut in November 2020, sailing from Fort Lauderdale to the Caribbean for her first season, before continuing her inaugural year in Europe. Odyssey's Mediterranean cruises for summer 2021 open today for bookings.

Beginning May 2021, Odyssey will take travelers on sun-soaked summer vacations in the Eastern Mediterranean on 7-, 9- and 12-night itineraries to the scenic shores and ancient ruins of Santorini, Mykonos and Athens, Greece; Ephesus and Rhodes, Turkey; Naples, Italy; Heraklion, Crete; and Haifa and Jerusalem, Israel. Vacationers will have more time than ever to explore local cultures with maximum time on shore, from longer days – up to 15 hours at every port -- spent enjoying the multihued waters and beaches of Mykonos and waterfront tavernas of Santorini on 7-night getaways to the Greek Isles, to a double dose of destinations with overnight stays and two full days in Athens and Naples on both 9-night Greek Isles and 12-night Holy Land sailings.

"Odyssey will set the standard for delivering unforgettable European adventures, on which travelers will cruise to an exceptional combination of destinations that are in a league of their own as the most popular ports in the Eastern Mediterranean," said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. "With extended stays and overnights, Royal Caribbean is combining amazing itineraries with our game-changing ship to create a truly one-of-a-kind Europe vacation."

The lineup of local experiences available to guests go beyond historic attractions, digging deeper into the vibrant culture and communities of the picturesque destinations. Highlights of adventures in store for Odyssey of the Seas guests:

• Sorrento and Amalfi Coast: When visiting Naples, guests can explore the Amalfi Coast, shop for majolica pottery, sample Southern Italian cuisine and enjoy downtime while wandering the flower-filled streets of Sorrento.

• Athens: Foodies can partake in the culinary history of Athens with a traditional cooking class for a taste of the local culture. Escorted by a local chef, the day begins with ingredient shopping in the Central Food Market before heading to the restaurant to prepare local dishes.

• Mykonos: A beach day for the books, where the entire family can soak up the Cycladean sun at one of Mykonos' best stretches of surf and sand.

• Crete: Foodies can embark on a visit to Boutari on the Fantaxometocho Estate, one of the most modern and impressive wineries of Crete, and sample a selection of homegrown wines produced onsite. The neighboring, recently restored village of Archanes is a 'must see' with its colorful backstreets, blooming flowers and fruit trees.

• Jerusalem and Bethlehem: The distinguished history of two biblically significant cities are brought to life while touring storied landmarks, such as The Wailing Wall, Church of the Nativity and Mount of Olives.

• Nazareth: By way of Haifa, vacationers will travel the region of Galilee to explore Nazareth and its churches, including the Church of Annunciation and the Church of St. Gabriel.

When Odyssey of the Seas makes her North American debut in November 2020, the new ship will be the first of her class to sail the Caribbean's clear blue waters and visit far-flung destinations like Curacao, Aruba, Grand Cayman and Mexico on 8- and 6-night itineraries from Fort Lauderdale. Odyssey will return to Fort Lauderdale in November 2021 for a second winter, sailing the same combination of itineraries. Caribbean cruises for winter 2021-22 open on Dec. 19, 2019.

The Quantum Ultra Class ship will tout game-changing, technological innovations like the next generation SeaPlex, the largest indoor space for recreational activities at sea, which will see the addition of this venue's first Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade with club-level views of the competition below; a reimagined Adventure Ocean kids program and a maxed-out teen lounge with gaming consoles, music and movies. Guests onboard Odyssey can enjoy all-new dining, including Teppanyaki, serving East Asian flavors in a traditional Japanese style; and Giovanni's Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar with rustic Italian dishes and a contemporary flair. Odyssey's vibrant, two-level pool deck will feature two open-air, resort-style pools and four whirlpools with shady casitas and hammocks. The ship will also feature guest favorites, including FlowRider surf simulator; skydiving with Ripcord by iFly; the iconic North Star glass capsule that boasts 360-degree views from 300 feet above sea level; and robot bartenders at Bionic Bar.

Carnival Corporation & plc Reports Fourth Quarter And Full Year Earnings
Carnival Corporation & plc announced financial results for the full year and fourth quarter ended November 30, 2019 and provided an outlook for the full year and first quarter 2020.

Key Highlights

Full Year 2019

• U.S. GAAP net income of $3.0 billion, or $4.32 diluted EPS, for the full year 2019, compared to U.S. GAAP net income for the full year 2018 of $3.2 billion, or $4.44 diluted EPS.

• Record full year 2019 adjusted net income of $3.0 billion, or $4.40 adjusted EPS, compared to adjusted net income of $3.0 billion, or $4.26 adjusted EPS, for the full year 2018.

• Adjusted net income excludes net charges of $52 million for the full year 2019 and net gains of $123 million for the full year 2018.

• Record total revenues for the full year 2019 were $20.8 billion, higher than $18.9 billion for the full year 2018.

• Gross cruise revenues of $20.4 billion, higher than $18.6 billion for the prior year.

• In constant currency, net cruise revenues of $16.0 billion, higher than $15.4 billion for the prior year, an increase of 4.0 percent.

Fourth Quarter 2019

• U.S. GAAP net income of $423 million, or $0.61 diluted EPS, for the fourth quarter of 2019, compared to U.S. GAAP net income for the fourth quarter of 2018 of $494 million, or $0.71 diluted EPS.

• Fourth quarter 2019 adjusted net income of $427 million, or $0.62 adjusted EPS, compared to adjusted net income of $492 million, or $0.70 adjusted EPS, for the fourth quarter of 2018.

• Adjusted net income excludes net charges of $5 million for the fourth quarter of 2019 and net gains of $2 million for the fourth quarter of 2018.

• Record total revenues for the fourth quarter of 2019 were $4.8 billion, higher than $4.5 billion for the fourth quarter of 2018.

• Gross cruise revenues of $4.7 billion for the fourth quarter of 2019, higher than $4.4 billion for the fourth quarter of 2018.

In constant currency, net cruise revenues of $3.7 billion compared to $3.7 billion for the fourth quarter of 2018, an increase of 0.5 percent. Fourth Quarter 2019 Results

Carnival Corporation & plc President and Chief Executive Officer Arnold Donald noted, "Exceeding our fourth quarter guidance enabled us to have strong full year earnings per share and another year of record adjusted earnings. We overcame a high number of unusual events compounded by a significant downturn in leisure travel demand for our large source markets in Continental Europe. In that environment, to achieve record revenues and adjusted earnings is an accomplishment for any consumer company, a credit to our 150,000 team members and demonstrates the robustness of our business model."

Key financial information for the fourth quarter of 2019 compared to the fourth quarter of 2018:

• Gross revenue yields (revenue per available lower berth day or "ALBD") increased 4.0 percent. In constant currency, net revenue yields decreased 1.8 percent, better than September guidance of down 2.0 to 3.0 percent.

• Gross cruise costs including fuel per ALBD increased 6.9 percent. In constant currency, net cruise costs excluding fuel per ALBD increased 2.6 percent, better than September guidance of up 4.0 to 5.0 percent, due to cost improvements realized during the quarter and timing of expenses between quarters.

• Changes in fuel prices and currency exchange rates increased earnings by $0.11 per share.

Highlights during the fourth quarter:

• Princess Cruises' Sky Princess and Carnival Cruise Line's Carnival Panorama were both delivered in October 2019.

• P&O Cruises (Australia) entered into an agreement to sell Pacific Dawn and Pacific Aria, which will both leave the fleet in 2021.

• The company was honored with the Skift Design Award for Best Cruise Experience for its OceanCompass™, within the Princess MedallionClass Experience.

• Seabourn received 14 top travel awards and distinctions from highly regarded magazines including: TIME, Cruise International, American Airlines Celebrated Living and Travel Weekly (U.S.).

• The company began construction of the cruise industry's first cruise terminal in Japan, located at the port of Sasebo.

• The company's CSMART Academy was recognized for excellence in maritime safety training by SAFETY4SEA for a second consecutive year.

• The company's efforts in corporate governance and in social and environmental responsibility were recognized by Newsweek Magazine and included in their list of America's Most Responsible Companies.

Other highlights include the delivery of Costa Smeralda, the second of the 11 ordered LNG ships. In addition, the company continues to lead the industry in the development of environmentally friendly fuel solutions and carbon emissions reduction. AIDA announced it will be the world's first cruise company to test the use of fuel cells, which will be powered by hydrogen derived from methanol and enable the power supply onboard. This is in addition to its recently announced innovation, the first lithium-ion battery storage system ever to be deployed on a cruise ship, AIDAperla.

The company has also formalized a collaborative partnership with The Bahamas to fund and support flood damage repairs and basic restoration efforts at Rand Memorial Hospital, the primary hospital in Freeport, Grand Bahama Island. This partnership builds on the company's previously announced financial aid, supply donations and other relief efforts aiding the recovery from Hurricane Dorian. The company also remains fully committed to its new developments on Grand Bahama Island and Half Moon Cay.

Full Year 2020 Outlook

The company is entering fiscal year 2020 with a record booked occupancy position. At this time, cumulative advanced bookings for the full year 2020 are slightly ahead of the prior year at prices that are slightly lower compared to 2019 on a comparable basis, which does not include the net revenue yields brand mix headwind of approximately 0.5 percent for the full year 2020.

Booking volumes at the beginning of the fourth quarter were impacted by Hurricane Dorian. During the last eight weeks, booking volumes have been running higher with prices that are in line for the full year 2020 compared to 2019 on a comparable basis.

Based on current booking trends, the company expects full year 2020 constant currency net cruise revenues to be up approximately 5.0 percent, with capacity growth of 6.6 percent, and net revenue yields in constant currency expected to be down approximately 1.5 percent compared to the prior year. Net revenue yields for the full year 2020 include a brand mix headwind of approximately 0.5 percent and an additional headwind of approximately 0.5 percent, primarily due to ship delivery delays, including today's Mardi Gras announcement. The company expects full year net cruise costs excluding fuel per ALBD in constant currency to be in line compared to the prior year, which also includes an impact of over 0.5 percent caused by ship delivery delays and an accounting difference. As previously indicated, in 2020 the company will increase its usage of Marine Gasoil ("MGO") as a percent of total fuel consumption as a result of the International Maritime Organization ("IMO") sulfur emission regulations. MGO is currently anticipated to represent 40 percent to 45 percent of fuel consumption for full year 2020 compared to 21 percent for full year 2019. The company's usage of Heavy Fuel Oil ("HFO") is expected to be 55 percent to 50 percent of fuel consumption for full year 2020 and all other fuel types is expected to be approximately 5.0 percent.

The impact of changes in fuel mix, fuel prices and currency exchange rates are expected to increase earnings by $0.17 to $0.24 per share compared to the prior year. Full year 2020 earnings are expected to include $0.12 to $0.17 per share incremental impact from prior year events and previously announced voyage disruptions, including ship delivery delays. Based on the above factors, the company expects full year 2020 adjusted earnings per share to be in the range of $4.30 to $4.60 compared to 2019 adjusted earnings per share of $4.40.

Donald added, "Despite the negative impacts from the tail effect of the high number of unusual events in 2019, as well as a continuation of the negative headwinds facing our Continental European source markets, our brands continue to perform and we are at record booked occupancy levels for 2020 on peak capacity growth. Given the evolution of conditions in Continental Europe, and recognizing the timing of significant capacity increases we have in our European portfolio, we are taking a number of actions to adapt over time. Globally, we are also taking actions to further stimulate demand and increase our cost efficiencies in 2020 and beyond. With annual cash from operations of $5.5 billion, our balance sheet is strong as are our brands and we believe we are well positioned to return to double-digit earnings growth and elevated ROIC over time."

First Quarter 2020 Outlook

First quarter constant currency net cruise revenues are expected to be up approximately 4.0 percent, with capacity growth of 6.0 percent, and net revenue yields in constant currency expected to be down 1.0 to 2.0 percent compared to the prior year. Net cruise costs excluding fuel per ALBD in constant currency for the first quarter of 2020 are expected to be down 2.0 to 3.0 percent compared to the prior year, the majority of which is driven by lower dry-dock days during the quarter.

MGO is currently anticipated to represent 40 percent to 45 percent of fuel consumption for the first quarter 2020 compared to approximately 14 percent for the first quarter 2019. The company's usage of HFO is expected to be 55 percent to 50 percent of fuel consumption for first quarter 2020 and all other fuel types is expected to be approximately 5.0 percent.

The impact of changes in fuel mix, fuel prices and currency exchange rates are expected to increase earnings by approximately $0.01 per share compared to the prior year. Based on the above factors, the company expects first quarter 2020 adjusted earnings per share to be in the range of $0.47 to $0.51 compared to 2019 adjusted earnings per share of $0.49.

Witness the Total Solar Eclipse Aboard the World's First Hybrid Electric-Powered Expedition Ship
Hurtigruten today announced the line's 2021 total solar eclipse voyages, featuring Antarctica itineraries on the industry's most advanced and environmentally-friendly ships.

"We will sail both the world's first hybrid electric-powered expedition ship, the MS Roald Amundsen, and her sister ship, the MS Fram, to prime positions outside the South Orkney Islands aiming to see this spectacular natural phenomenon," said Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam.

Weather permitting, the total solar eclipse will only be visible from Antarctica, with the next event not occurring for another 75 years.

"This is a unique opportunity for a very limited number of modern-day adventure travelers to both immerse in the seventh continent and its icebergs, penguins, seals, whales and birds, and at the same time have front-row access to an astonishing planetary display," added Skjeldam.

Hurtigruten will enlist a team of curated experts to provide travelers with immersive lectures and insights on the eclipse while on board. The team will supplement Hurtigruten's already extensive expedition team, consisting of leaders in scientific areas such as marine biology, glaciology, oceanography and photography.

"We aim for all Hurtigruten sailings to be life-changing and transformational," said Skjeldam. "These experts will further deepen and expand this unequalled possibility to experience one of nature's most striking events."

The ship's science center serves as a hub where guests and experts meet over microscopes and other scientific equipment to learn about the waters and wildlife the ship is navigating. Guests are also encouraged to partake in different citizen science projects offered on board.

Princess Cruises Reveals 2021 Alaska Cruises and Cruisetours
Princess Cruises announced its 2021 Alaska season with eight ships calling to 17 destinations on 11 unique itineraries from five homeports on sale now. Also included in the 2021 season are 25 cruisetour options which combine a 7-day Voyage of the Glaciers cruise with multiple days on land, scenic rail travel and overnight stays at Princess Wilderness Lodges.

Highlights of the 2021 Princess Cruises Alaska season, running from May through September, include:

• New! Regal Princess debuts in Alaska, sailing roundtrip Seattle on Sundays on seven-day Inside Passage cruises, opposite Emerald Princess on Saturdays.

• Royal Princess, Star Princess, Sapphire Princess and Coral Princess, sail between Vancouver and Anchorage (Whittier) on the popular Voyage of the Glaciers itinerary, with two glacier-viewing experiences.

• Guests sailing on these voyages can choose to take a cruisetour, traveling through the interior of Alaska to Denali National Park before or after their cruise.

• Ruby Princess becomes the largest ship to sail on the cruise line's 10-day Inside Passage voyage, roundtrip from San Francisco offering guests the added bucket-list experience of sailing under the iconic Golden Gate Bridge.

• Sun Princess homeports out of both Vancouver and Los Angeles, sailing on 7 day Inside Passage cruises roundtrip Vancouver in early summer, then offering 14 day Inside Passage cruises roundtrip Los Angeles later in the summer.

• Coral Princess offers a 12-day Inside Passage cruise in May, roundtrip from Vancouver, featuring Glacier Bay National Park, Hubbard Glacier and Prince Rupert, B.C.

• More Ashore late-night stays on many voyages in Alaska's capital city Juneau.

• Back by popular demand! 17-night Ultimate Princess cruisetour featuring two nights at each one of the five Princess wilderness lodges with visits to five national parks. The services of a tour director and most meals on land are also included.

• This season, five ships in Alaska will be MedallionClass (Regal, Royal, Ruby, Emerald, and Coral). Star Princess will also feature MedallionNet, the best Wi-Fi at sea.

"With our rich history in Alaska, Princess Cruises continues to differentiate itself to deliver a truly authentic Alaska experience that connects our guests with the local culture and wilderness on a cruise or cruisetour," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. "Our 2021 lineup includes plenty of choices so travelers with big and small groups, various budgets and vacation time available can visit and take in the unmatched beauty of Alaska."

Princess Cruises offers key product differentiators in Alaska, including:

• Award-winning North to Alaska program featuring Cook My Catch, an exclusive culinary program allowing guests to return from select Princess fishing excursions only to have the chef prepare their very own catch of the day. Also offered, the crowd-favorite Puppies in the Piazza, where real Alaska sled dog puppies are brought on board for guests to interact with.

• MedallionClass-enabled cruise ships, powered by OceanMedallion, the most advanced wearable device in the global hospitality industry, delivering a hassle-free, personalized vacation that gives guests more time to connect with loved ones, make new friends and enjoy what they love most about cruising.

• Exclusive Discovery and Animal Planet shore excursions, giving guests opportunities to catch a glimpse of Alaska wildlife, including bears, whales, bald eagles and more. In addition, Princess has partnered with a team of local experts in Alaska to give guests even more exclusive and authentic experiences ashore as part of the cruise line's award-winning Local Connections program, like cooking with an Alaska chef or going on a photo safari with a nature photographer.

In addition to Alaska cruises, Princess Cruises is the only cruise line to own and operate five Alaska wilderness lodges, all located riverside near national parks. Cruisetour highlights include:

• Two unique perspectives to see Denali, the tallest mountain in North America at 20,310 feet from two lodges – Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge and Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge.

• Exclusive Direct to the Wilderness rail service, taking guests directly to and from their cruise ship to the Denali area.

• More remote lodge locations including Copper River Princess Wilderness Lodge, overlooking Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge, near Kenai Fjords National Park.

• Unique Alaska experiences including a treehouse at the Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge built by Pete Nelson of Animal Planet's Treehouse Masters. In addition, lodge guests will hear first-hand tales from mountain climbers who have conquered Denali as they tell their exhilarating stories in the Hudson Theater.

• Fannie Q's Saloon and Fireside Patio at the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge, named after the famous local Alaska pioneer Fannie Quigley, is located in the center of the property and features a modern saloon ambience with indoor and outdoor seating, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. The fireside patio offers a new gathering place for guests to roast marshmallows, talk about their adventures and have a drink under the midnight sun.

2019 marked Princess Cruises 50th season sailing in Alaska. In celebration of this great milestone, Princess Cruises connected with local communities to give back to the people who make Alaska one of the most unique and memorable destinations in the world. This includes:

• Scholarship Donations: Princess Cruises granted 14 local graduates a college scholarship totaling $34,000 for students graduating from Ketchikan High School, Skagway High School and Tri-Valley and Cantwell High Schools in Healy.

• Masters of the Sea totem pole: To thank the local community of Ketchikan, for supporting Princess Cruises over the last 50 years, the cruise line dedicated a specially-crafted totem pole to this charming coastal town. The Masters of the Sea totem pole, housed at the Ketchikan Visitors Bureau, was crafted by local carver and cultural ambassador as part of Princess Cruises North to Alaska program, Kelly White. The totem pole was carved onboard Ruby Princess.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 51.26 + 9.09%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 133.40 + 5.71%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.78 + 11.43%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 58.51 + 5.96%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
In which year and on which vessels were the first bathrooms installed?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Name the two 14,000 ton sister ships that entered service for Cunard in 1971 & 1972 and were replaced in 1976 & 1977.

Answer - The Cunard Adventurer and the Cunard Ambassador were built in 1971 and 1972. They were replaced by the Cunard Countess and the Cunard Princess.
courtesy of Larry P. MacDonald, Belmont, MA. USA


Cruise News - December 16, 2019

Carnival Panorama Officially Named By Wheel Of Fortune's Vanna White
The arrival of Carnival Panorama – the line's first new ship on the West Coast in 20 years – was celebrated in true Carnival Cruise Line fashion with Wheel of Fortune's Vanna White serving as godmother and officially naming the ship during a memorable ceremony on board.

White delivered poignant comments during which she spoke about her love of cruising and the commitment she shares with Carnival to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, as well as the cruise line's relationship with Wheel of Fortune, which she has co-hosted for the past 37 years.

Then, in a nod to her role on Wheel of Fortune, America's Game, White turned a series of letters spelling out PANORAMA that triggered the release of a bottle of Moet champagne to officially name the ship.

"I'm incredibly flattered and honored to be the godmother of this ship." said White. "Naming Carnival Panorama was truly a special moment, and one I will never forget. I look forward to sailing on her in the future."

The festivities also included a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Carnival Kitchen, a first-in-fleet culinary center that offers more than 15 different interactive cooking, baking and decorating demonstrations.

Joining Carnival President Christine Duffy at the ribbon cutting were Carnival's team of "Culinary All Stars" including Guy Fieri whose Burger Joint and Smokehouse Brewhouse are featured on Carnival Panorama, as well as Emeril Lagasse and Rudi Sodamin, who each will have new restaurants, Emeril's Bistro 1396 and Rudi's Seagrill, respectively, on the new Mardi Gras when it debuts next year.

"One of the things we are most proud of is the delicious food we offer across our fleet," said Duffy. "To celebrate Carnival Panorama's inaugural with our very own 'Feast of Fun' featuring our amazing culinary team both on board and through our partnerships really added to the celebration."

The grand opening of the first Sky Zone trampoline park at sea was celebrated with Duffy and Sky Zone CEO Jeff Platt cutting the ribbon followed by the first participants checking out the high-flying action within the two-level, 3,000-square-foot facility.

The day included a return of the Carnival AirShip, a 128-foot-long blimp emblazoned with the line's Choose Fun tag line and concluded with a massive fireworks display that lit up the Long Beach sky.

Following an inaugural three-day cruise, Carnival Panorama will launch year-round seven-day Mexican Riviera service from Long Beach, Calif., Dec. 14, departing every Saturday on week-long voyages to Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas.

Cunard Announces 2021 Alaska and 2022 World & Exotics Voyages
Cunard announced today its 2022 World & Exotic Voyage Program, which runs from January through April, featuring a full World Voyage, in-depth itineraries in Japan and Australia, and a spectacular cruise around Cape Horn. The Cunard fleet, including Queen Elizabeth, Queen Victoria, and flagship liner Queen Mary 2, will call at 93 destinations in 42 different countries, including five maiden calls in Australia, Brazil, Vanuatu and Japan. In addition, Queen Elizabeth will sail her 2021 Alaska season with seven roundtrip voyages from Vancouver or Victoria, ranging from 10-12 nights each.

2022 marks a special year in Cunard's history as it is the 100th Anniversary of the line's first World Cruise when the American Express Company chartered Cunard's Laconia to sail the first continuous circumnavigation of the globe by a passenger liner, following in the path of Magellan's fleet four hundred years previously. Over the last century, the World Voyage has become the ultimate travel experience, and no other company has taken more passengers on world cruises than Cunard.

In early of 2022, Queen Victoria will continue Cunard's tradition of world cruising by operating a full westbound World Voyage that will travel over 37,600 nautical miles and visit 29 ports in 19 countries.

The iconic Queen Mary 2 will sail a new 71-night winter escape through the pristine beaches of the Caribbean and around the vibrant cities of South America. She will call at 17 ports in 14 countries with access to 12 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and a magnificent journey through the Chilean Fjords sailing around the bottom of the world at Cape Horn. Queen Mary 2 will also chart her first-ever Northern Lights voyage in Norway, offering guests the chance to see the elusive sights of the Aurora Borealis in the early spring.

Queen Elizabeth will embark on her Voyages of Discovery series with regionally-focused itineraries in Australia and Japan, ranging from seven to 23 nights. With six overnight calls and seven evenings in port, guests will have time to immerse themselves in exotic destinations and rich cultures.

In addition to the 2022 world & exotic voyages, Cunard has announced Queen Elizabeth's 2021 Alaska season from June through September which consists of seven roundtrip voyages from Vancouver or Victoria, ranging from 10-12 nights. The itineraries feature the region's highlight ports such as Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan, as well as stunning scenic cruising in the narrow waterways of the Inside Passage offering up close views of glaciers, mountains, fjords and the UNESCO World Heritage site of Glacier Bay National Park.

"Cunard's ships will be at opposite ends of the earth for our 2022 world & Exotic voyages so guests can explore whichever part of the globe calls them," said Josh Leibowitz, SVP Cunard North America. "Whether it's the legendary World Cruise on Queen Victoria, exotic sailings on Queen Elizabeth, or exploring South America on our flagship Queen Mary 2, guests can see the world in style, only on Cunard."

Cunard World Club members will be able to book exclusively beginning on December 18, 2019, and booking will open for the public on December 19, 2019.

Queen Mary 2
In 2022, Queen Mary 2 will embark on a new route, sailing to the Caribbean and South America, which can be taken as a roundtrip from Hamburg (73 nights), London (71 nights) or New York (55 nights) or a number of smaller segments. The voyage begins in January from Southampton with a Transatlantic Crossing to New York, then calls at a series of destinations in the eastern Caribbean. From there Queen Mary 2 will continue south to Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina and Chile, retracing the steps of famous explorers as she rounds Cape Horn and traverses the Magellan Straits and Beagle Channel. On her return north, the ship will stop at Rio de Janeiro, in time to celebrate the world-famous Carnival. She will call at additional Caribbean ports on her journey back to New York before Crossing the Atlantic to Southampton.

In late March, Queen Mary 2 will sail her first-ever Norway Northern Lights voyage, which features an extended call to Tromso above the Arctic Circle offering guests the opportunity to witness this awe-inspiring natural phenomenon.

Queen Mary 2's 2022 deployment features:

• New Caribbean and South America Voyages

• Grand Voyages, by Cunard and Regions, by Cunard

• 23 voyage combinations ranging from two to 73 nights

• Over 30,700 nautical miles

• 17 ports in 14 countries

• Two maiden calls in Sao Paulo, Brazil and Puerto Madryn, Argentina

• Overnight stays in Montevideo, Uruguay and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

• Scenic Cruising around Cape Horn, through the Magellan Straights and Beagle Channel

• 12 UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Queen Victoria
Queen Victoria's World Voyage will be a classic Westbound circumnavigation through the Panama Canal which can be taken as a roundtrip from either Hamburg (112 nights) or London (108 nights). Her voyage will begin by crossing the Atlantic to Florida via Bermuda, followed by a trans-Panama segment. Queen Victoria will then cross the Pacific Ocean via Hawaii and Samoa to New Zealand and from there she will call in Sydney, Australia's Gold Coast and Great Barrier Reef before traveling to Hong Kong via Papa New Guinea and the Philippines. Following her Asia visit, she will return to London via Singapore, the Indian Ocean and South Africa.

Queen Victoria's 2022 deployment features:

• The World Voyage, by Cunard

• Grand Voyages, by Cunard and Regions, by Cunard

• 25 voyage combinations ranging from two to 112 nights

• Over 37,600 nautical miles

• 29 ports in 19 countries

• Two maiden calls in Alotau and Kiriwina, Papa New Guinea

• Overnight stays in San Francisco, Sydney, Hong Kong, Singapore and Cape Town

• Scenic cruising through the Panama Canal

• 19 UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Queen Elizabeth
From mid-November 2021 through early March 2022, Queen Elizabeth will spend time in Australia, operating three roundtrip voyages from Melbourne and five form Sydney covering the regions of South Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand. She will sail a new South Pacific Islands voyage featuring calls in Fiji, Vanuatu and New Caledonia and will also offer "open-jaw" New Zealand voyages, traveling from Sydney to Auckland and the reverse.

At the end of the Australia season in March, Queen Elizabeth will travel north to Japan via Southeast Asia. The voyage will include a variety of exciting destinations such as Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Shanghai and a maiden call to Beijing.

From mid-April to early June, Queen Elizabeth will spend time in Japan with five nine-night and one seven-night roundtrip voyages and from Yokohama. The nine-night voyages will highlight the multi-faceted nature and deep cultural roots of Japan's main islands of Honshu, Kyushu and Hokkaido, as well as a southern Islands voyage that includes islands in the Okinawa archipelago and two Taiwanese port calls. These voyages are timed to take in the spectacular spring blooms across the region. The seven-night itinerary coincides with Golden week which is one of Japan's most popular holiday seasons.

Queen Elizabeth's 2022 deployment features:

• Grand Voyages, by Cunard and Regions, by Cunard.

• 59 voyage combinations ranging from two to 39 nights

• Over 48,000 nautical miles

• 54 ports in 14 countries

• Nine maiden calls in Eden, Australia; Port Vila and Luganville, Vanuatu; Lautoka and Suva, Fiji; Noumea, New Caledonia; Beijing, China; Beppu and Sasebo, Japan

• Overnight stays in Auckland, Hobart, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing

• Scenic cruising in Fiordland National Park and Marlborough Sound, New Zealand

• 27 UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Princess Cruises Adds Sixth Ship to Europe 2021 Lineup
Princess Cruises today announced the addition of the 670-guest Pacific Princess to the Europe 2021 season. Pacific Princess will sail for 41 days from Tokyo to Rome in May 2021, to start a season of new 12-day Mediterranean voyages, sailing between Venice and Rome.

Highlights of the May through October 2021 season include:

• 12-day Mediterranean Connoisseur voyages sailing from Rome to Venice with port visits in the Western Mediterranean, including Portofino and Monte Carlo, as well as sailing the Adriatic Sea visiting Montenegro, Croatia, Slovenia and an overnight in Venice. These voyages also feature a maiden port call to Giardini Naxos on the island of Sicily.

• 12-day Greek Isles Connoisseur voyages feature the Grecian ports of Athens, Mykonos, Crete and Santorini, as well as the Western Mediterranean including Sorrento for Capri & Pompeii and Catania on the island of Sicily. These cruises also include an overnight in Venice.

• 12-day Mediterranean sailings can be combined for 24-day Grand Mediterranean Connoisseur voyages, which sail roundtrip from Venice or Rome.

• 41-day Mediterranean & Grand Asia Adventure will sail from Tokyo to Rome and includes stops in many countries including Taiwan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Sri Lanka, United Arab Emirates, Oman and Jordan. This voyage also includes a maiden call to Khasab, Oman, known for its desert fjords.

All Pacific Princess Europe 2021 voyages go on sale December 18, 2019.

The small-ship experience found onboard Pacific Princess offers a refined elegance, yet with many of the wonderful amenities found on larger ships. The ship provides guests an intimate camaraderie, sharing a passion for travel, while visiting unique ports only smaller ships can access.

With the addition of Pacific Princess, six total ships now offer the best of Europe in 2021, including the cruise line's two newest ships, Enchanted Princess and Sky Princess, with voyages to the Mediterranean, British Isles and Scandinavia & Russia. With voyages from four to 34 days on five MedallionClass ships, guests can visit treasured landmarks and let local experts guide the way with foodie-friendly and art-centric tours. More details on the previously announced 2021 Europe season can be found here.

Holland America Line's Noordam Returns To Service With Upgrades Throughout
When Holland America Line's Noordam recently sailed for Australia following a scheduled 14-day dry dock at Victoria Shipyards in Victoria, British Columbia, the ship had received a refresh and several upgrades as part of the company's continued efforts to roll out its latest and most popular experiences across their fleet.

The most notable new additions are Billboard Onboard to the Music Walk area, Microsoft Studio in the Explorations Café and Fujifilm Wonder Photo Shop where guests can create mementos from their photos. In addition, suites were refreshed with new soft goods, furniture and bathrooms.

Other areas receiving extensive enhancements were Pinnacle Grill, Pinnacle Bar, The Greenhouse Spa & Salon, the Dining Room and Lido Market. A pickleball court was also added to the sports court area.

"Noordam looks better than ever with sleek upgrades, fresh décor and the addition of new spaces like the popular Billboard Onboard, which receives rave reviews from guests," said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line's president. "We are always investing in our ships and onboard amenities and offerings to ensure that guests enjoy the latest and greatest experiences, particularly in the area of authentic music, as we are known for having the best live music at sea."

Music Walk Expands with Billboard Onboard
Noordam guests have more live music options than ever before with the addition of Billboard Onboard, which joins the wildly popular B.B. King's Blues Club and Lincoln Center Stage in the Music Walk area. Billboard Onboard — in partnership with Billboard, the leading global destination for charts, news, trends and innovation in music — features the talents of two pianists playing 50 years of chart-topping hits.

Suite Accommodations Were Fully Refurbished
Noordam suites received the same upgrades that are rolling out on the line's Signature- and Vista-class ships. The main living area in each suite was refreshed with new furniture, carpet, headboard and stone desktops and soft goods. Electronic upgrades included a new USB outlet added to the bed's headboard, bedside LED reading lights, upgraded electrical outlets and a lighted closet rod. Suite bathrooms received designer glass tile and a new vanity area.

All staterooms received new verandah furniture, and new sofa beds were installed in staterooms with that sleep option.

New Interactive TV with On-Demand Movies A new interactive television system was installed in all suites and staterooms, featuring large, LED flat-screen TVs with complimentary movies and TV shows on demand as well as easy access to the daily program and shipboard information including restaurant overviews, spa services and account status.

Fujifilm Wonder Photo Shop
Guests can now create unique photo mementos and gifts at the new Fujifilm Wonder Photo Shop. Using photos taken by guests or the shipboard photographer, the new Fujifilm Wonder Photo Shop makes it easy to design mounted 3-D photos, keepsake boxes, metal panel prints and more.

Upgrades to dining venues, bars, lounges and other public areas include:

• Microsoft Studio was redesigned and added to Explorations Café, which received other upgrades. Now Microsoft Studio offers a new list of complimentary classes with all-new computer equipment.

• Pinnacle Grill and the Pinnacle Bar have a fresh look with new furniture, carpet and design details.

• Guests looking for a bit of pampering can indulge in upgraded treatment rooms, new massage beds, barber chairs, pedicure thrones and an enhanced hydropool at The Greenhouse Spa & Salon, while fitness enthusiasts will appreciate upgraded gym equipment and floors.

• The Dining Room received new furniture, carpet and soft goods; new chairs and tabletops were installed in Lido Market; and the Neptune Lounge has new furniture, carpet and a bar.

• Gamers can look forward to playing new slot machines and tables at the Casino.

• The Sports Court added lines for a pickleball court so guests can enjoy a fun and fast-paced racquet sport.

Next summer Noordam will head to Alaska, sailing 7-day Glacier Discovery cruises northbound from Vancouver B.C. and southbound from Seward (Anchorage). An in-depth Land + Sea journey can be added to Noordam sailings for those guests who want to explore the interior of The Great Land, including the must-see Denali National Park.

Princess Cruises Announces 2021 Japan Season
Princess Cruises announced its remaining 2021 Japan sailings, offerings guests an authentic immersion in the deep history, captivating culture and signature cuisines of this region. Rounding out the 2021 season, Diamond Princess sails on the cruise line's longest Japan season yet from March 2021 through December 2021, providing more opportunities than ever to see the beauty of spring flowers and participate in exciting festivals.

"The 2021 Japan season gives our guests the opportunity to travel to extraordinary, intriguing destinations all around this beautiful island nation," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. "From our expertly curated itineraries to our exclusive Local Connections shore excursions program, we provide our guests with a convenient and meaningful way to connect to the local culture."

On sale December 18, 2019, Japan guests can choose from 48 itineraries, ranging in length from four to 19 days, visiting four countries and 44 destinations, including:

• Spring Flowers Cruises

• Festival Cruises

• Fall Foliage Cruises

• Circle Hokkaido Cruises

• Circle Japan Cruises

• Southern Islands and Taiwan Cruises

• Getaway Cruises

Departure ports include Tokyo (Yokohama) and Kobe.

The upcoming 2021 season offers more opportunities to visit local festivals than ever before with eight festivals across six voyages, including the introduction of the Osaka Danjiri Festival on a Japan Explorer cruise and the return of the popular Northern Japan with Nebuta Festival. Guests can also enjoy five Spring Flowers cruise options with hand-crafted itineraries, moving from south to north according to the predicted blooming season. Guests can also witness the changing colors of the Japanese maple and gingko trees, with cruises sailing from north to south according to the predicted autumn foliage season.

Plus, Diamond Princess will visit five new ports this season: Ube, Hitachinaka (for Nikko), Shimonoseki, Omaezaki and Jeju.

The 2021 cruises give guests the opportunity to visit 10 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. These include:

• Mount Fuji

• Ancient Kyoto

• Buddhist monuments in the Horyu-ji area

• Shrines and temples of Nikko

• Historic villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama

• Hiroshima Peace Memorial

• Cultural Immersion

• Tranquil temple gardens, beautiful landscapes, sumptuous Japanese flavors both ashore and onboard connect guests to local daily life. With a new Local Connections shore excursion program in Japan was designed to provide guests the most personal, meaningful, authentic and exclusive experiences ashore by offering them a first-hand glimpse into the local food, beverage, arts and culture scene with 29 new tours in 19

The cruise line's More Ashore program offers late-night stays in Akita, Aomori, Busan, Hakodate, Hong Kong, Kobe, Kochi, Osaka, Tokushima and Wakayama.

Guests looking to spend more time in Tokyo and Kyoto can add five days on land exploring more of the country's contrast of ancient traditions and modern technology before the start of their cruise for a Highlights of Japan Cruisetour. Guests can enjoy sightseeing at Nijo Castle and the famed Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion) or immerse themselves in the history of Nara with the Great Buddha of Todaiji Temple and Kasuga Taisha Shrine while en route to the bullet train for Tokyo. After experiencing central Tokyo, explore the UNESCO World Heritage site of Mt. Fuji with stunning views from Togendai and Lake Ashi.

Built in Japan at Mitsubishi Shipyard in Nagasaki, the 2,706-guest Diamond Princess includes distinctly Japanese offerings, including authentic sushi served at Kai Sushi, the largest Japanese-style open-air bath at sea, folkloric shows and regional entertainment.

Carnival Corporation Joins Getting to Zero Coalition for Zero Emission Operations
Carnival Corporation today announced it has joined the Getting to Zero Coalition, an alliance of organizations across the maritime, energy, infrastructure and finance sectors committed to accelerating the decarbonization of the international shipping industry. Carnival Corporation, with nine global cruise line brands, is the first cruise company to join the global alliance.

The coalition's goal aligns with the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from shipping by at least 50% by 2050 as compared to 2008 emissions. To meet the target, the Getting to Zero Coalition aspires to having technically feasible, commercially viable zero emission deep sea vessels (ZEVs) entering the global shipping fleet as early as 2030. The alliance's ambition also includes scalable infrastructure for zero-carbon energy sources, including production, distribution, storage and bunkering.

Supported by key governments and intergovernmental organizations (IGOs), the coalition represents a leading group of over 80 companies, including global stakeholders from a variety of shipping-related industries such as fuel suppliers, engine manufacturers, marine classification societies, shipping companies, major ports and more.

"We look forward to working with fellow coalition partners in the maritime, energy and other related industries, as well as academics, think tanks and policymakers, to develop a roadmap that identifies the technologies, investments and actions we must pursue to begin introducing zero emission vessels into the global shipping and passenger fleet," said Tom Strang, senior vice president of maritime affairs for Carnival Corporation. "Across our nine brands, we host more than 12 million guests every year and visit over 700 ports of call around the world. The health and vitality of our oceans and seas, along with the hundreds of communities we visit across the globe, are absolutely essential to our business. We have a deep commitment to safety, environmental responsibility and consistently exceeding guest expectations, and being an active part of the Getting to Zero Coalition is another important step for the environment."

Launched at the United Nations Climate Action Summit in September 2019, the Getting to Zero Coalition is a partnership among the Global Maritime Forum, the Friends of Ocean Action and the World Economic Forum. It builds on the call to action in support of decarbonization launched in October 2018 at the Global Maritime Forum and signed by more than 70 companies from across the maritime industry, financial institutions and other stakeholders, as well as on the Poseidon Principles – a global framework for climate-aligned ship financing – launched in June 2019.

Carnival Corporation and its nine cruise line brands are committed to developing innovative solutions that support sustainability and environmentally friendly operations, as part of a broader corporate strategy that includes its commitment to further improve environmental compliance and performance. In 2017, the company achieved its 25% carbon reduction goal three years ahead of schedule, and is on track with its nine other 2020 sustainability targets for reducing its environmental footprint while enhancing the health, safety and security of its guests and crew members, and ensuring sustainable business practices among its brands, partners and suppliers.

As part of its strategic plan for carbon footprint reduction, the company also leads the cruise industry's use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to power cruise ships, with a total of 11 next-generation cruise ships joining the fleet through 2025. Using the company's innovative environmental design, these new ships powered by LNG, the industry's most advanced fuel technology, eliminate sulfur and significantly improve overall air emissions. Carnival Corporation launched the world's first cruise ship powered by LNG, AIDAnova, in late 2018, followed by a second LNG ship, Costa Smeralda, earlier this month.

Carnival Corporation is also pioneering the use of Advanced Air Quality Systems, often referred to as exhaust gas cleaning systems, or "scrubbers." As of July 2019, Advanced Air Quality Systems have been installed on more than 70% of the company's fleet. The systems remove almost all of sulfur oxide emissions, 75% of all particulate matter and reduce nitrogen oxide emissions.

In addition, over 40% of the company's fleet has "cold ironing" capabilities, enabling ships to use shoreside electric power where available while in port. The company has also implemented broad initiatives to optimize onboard energy use, and innovative hull designs and coatings to reduce fuel consumption by minimizing frictional drag.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 46.99 + 3.48%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 126.20 + 3.60%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.70 + 1.45%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 55.22 + 0.66%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Name the two 14,000 ton sister ships that entered service for Cunard in 1971 & 1972 and were replaced in 1976 & 1977.

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
What was the inspiration for the distinctive funnel paint job on the ships of Carnival Cruise Line?

Answer - The ship had been previously owned by Canadian Pacific, and Carnival short on money only slightly altered the Canadian Pacific funnel logo.
courtesy of B. A. McKenzie


Cruise News - December 9, 2019

Princess Cruises Celebrates the Women of NASA at Dedication Ceremony Naming New Sky Princess
Princess Cruises christened its newest ship, Sky Princess today in a moving tribute to the pioneering women of the U.S. Space Program who represent crowning achievements in science, research and technology through innovation and their desire to explore the far reaches of the sky.

Princess Cruises chose the theme of Reach for the Sky for the occasion, and honored two women of NASA for their achievements in the U.S. space program: Captain Kay Hire, and engineer Poppy Northcutt, who served as the godmothers of Sky Princess.

Captain Hire began her 30-year NASA career as a mechanical systems engineer, helping to launch more than 40 space missions. Then, as an astronaut, she logged 700 hours in space, flew over 12 million miles, and orbited the earth 475 times. She was the first female assigned to a military combat flight crew while serving in the U.S. Navy. And, she retired from the U.S. Navy with more 35 years of service. Poppy Northcutt served as the first female mission control engineer when NASA made history with its mission to the moon. When the crew of Apollo 13 became stranded in their service module, it was her team's calculations that brought them home safely – a feat of heroism that earned the entire mission operations a Presidential Medal of Freedom Team Award.

"As we celebrate our newest, most technologically advanced ship – one whose spirit of adventure and discovery match the grandeur of her name, Sky Princess, we also applaud the groundbreaking women of the U.S. Space Program." said Princess Cruises President Jan Swartz. "Our godmothers, Captain Kay Hire and Poppy Northcutt, remind us all of what we can achieve when we reach for the sky."

Sky Princess Captain Heikki Laakkonen also recognized two Sky Princess female officers who embody the Reach for the Sky theme, striving for success in leadership positions –Kerry Ann Wright, who started working in the cruise industry as a spa technician and went back to school to rise through the ranks to become a Second Officer working on the bridge; and Chief Security Officer Susan Morgan, who is the longest serving woman in the British Royal Navy.

Captain Hire and Poppy Northcutt, recited the traditional cruise ship blessing before pushing a NASA-style "launch" button releasing and smashing a 15-liter bottle of champagne, officially naming Sky Princess.

Additional women of NASA recognized for their unwavering quest to Reach for the Sky in a tribute video, included:

• The first woman of color to travel to outer space Dr. Mae Jemison.

• The first Hispanic woman in space who later became Director of the Johnson Space Center Dr. Ellen Ochoa.

• The first woman to command the Space Shuttle Eileen Collins.

• The first woman to command the International Space Stations Peggy Whiston.

• The first woman to join a spacewalk Kathryn D. Sullivan.

The ceremony featured star-studded entertainment adding to the exciting bottle break moment, including Princess Cruises Celebrations Ambassador and Love Boat actress Jill Whelan, serving as ceremony co-host with Sky Princess Cruise Director Alexander Yepremian; and a performance of Dream On from America's Got Talent Alum Brian Justin Crum. The finale of the naming ceremony included a performance of This is Me from The Greatest Showman and featured in the cruise line's new production show Rock Opera.

Sky Princess, recently completed her inaugural season in Europe and is now sailing on voyages to the Caribbean through spring 2020. Representing an evolution of the design platform used for her sister Royal-Class ships - Regal Princess, Royal Princess and Majestic Princess - the 143,700-ton, 3,660-guest Sky Princess offers an elevation of spectacular style and elegance that Princess is known for, in addition to new distinct features.

Introduced on Sky Princess are new luxury Sky Suites boasting expansive views from the largest balconies at sea. In addition, two new entertainment experiences are offered - Phantom Bridge, a world's first game combining digital and physical elements for the ultimate immersive escape room, and Take Five, the only jazz theater at sea, celebrating the iconic sounds, culture and history of jazz.

The debut of Sky Princess marks the first MedallionClass new build. Powered by the OceanMedallion, the global hospitality industry's most advanced wearable device, MedallionClass vacations deliver a new level of service for a vacation that is more seamless, effortless and personalized. Considered a breakthrough in the vacation industry and a CES 2019 Innovation Award Honoree, the complimentary OceanMedallion features leading-edge technology that delivers personalized service through enhanced guest-crew interactions, while eliminating friction points and enabling interactive entertainment.

The Princess Cruises fleet continues to expand with Enchanted Princess in June 2020, Discovery Princess in November 2021 and two new (LNG) ships in 2023 and 2025.

Costa Cruises Welcomes LNG-Powered Costa Smeralda to Fleet
Costa Cruises officially took delivery today of Costa Smeralda, the brand's first ship powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), the marine industry's most advanced fuel technology.

The handover ceremony was held at the Meyer shipyard in Turku, Finland, where the brand's new flagship was built. Costa Smeralda becomes Carnival Corporation's fourth new ship of 2019 and its second LNG-powered ship.

Costa Smeralda is the first of two new sister ships for Costa Cruises that can be powered in port and at sea by LNG. The second vessel, Costa Toscana, is currently under construction at Meyer Turku and scheduled to be delivered in 2021.

In total, following the delivery of Costa Smeralda today and the launch of AIDAnova at the end of 2018 as the world's first cruise vessel to be powered by LNG, Carnival Corporation has an additional nine next-generation LNG-powered cruise ships on order using the company's innovative environmental design, with expected delivery dates for these new ships between 2020 and 2025.

The introduction of LNG to power cruise ships is a major development that supports the company's environmental goals and significantly improves overall air emissions with the virtual elimination of sulfur dioxide emissions (zero emissions) and a 95 to 100% reduction in particulate matter. The use of LNG also significantly reduces emissions of nitrogen oxide and carbon dioxide.

"Costa Smeralda will be a further boost to the use of LNG in cruise ships, a technology our company has pioneered in the cruise sector," said Neil Palomba, president of Costa Cruises, which has represented Italian style and hospitality for more than 70 years. "It is an exciting evolution in maritime transport, as it guarantees a significant reduction in our environmental impact."

Palomba added: "Costa Smeralda is a significant product innovation as well, with Italian hospitality remaining a fundamental and distinctive element of our brand, able to enchant and excite not only new cruise passengers but also more experienced ones."

In addition to the innovative use of LNG, Costa Smeralda incorporates a series of cutting-edge technological innovations designed to further support environmentally friendly operations. For example, using onboard desalination systems, Costa Smeralda sources its daily water requirement directly from the sea. The ship also implements broad initiatives to minimize energy consumption, including LED lights, the ability to recover heat generated by the engines, an innovative hull design to significantly reduce frictional drag, and elevators that recover energy by regenerating it into the electricity system.

Single-use plastic products, which have been eliminated from Costa Cruises ships for most catering purposes and replaced with alternative materials, will gradually be reduced well in advance of the upcoming European Parliament directives regarding single-use plastics reduction requirements. Additionally, fully separated waste collection and recycling of materials, including plastic, paper, glass and aluminum, will be part of an integrated approach designed to support circular economy projects.

The brand's 4GOODFOOD program dedicated to reducing food waste and recovering surpluses for social purposes will also be implemented on Costa Smeralda. The new ship will feature the innovations of the LAB – Laboratorio del Gusto Restaurant – which takes an entertaining approach to involving guests in food sustainability.

Named to honor the spectacular Emerald Coast of Sardinia, Costa Smeralda is the result of a unique creative project led by hospitality designer Adam D. Tihany, created to immerse guests in experiencing Italy's finest all in one place. Tihany relied on an international pool of four top architecture firms, commissioned to design the various areas of the ship. All of the furnishings, lighting, fabrics and accessories are made in Italy, including many designed specifically for Costa Smeralda by 15 partners representing Italian excellence.

Italian design also stars in the CoDe - Costa Design Museum, the first museum created on a cruise ship. Costa Smeralda also features the Solemio spa; various entertainment areas, including the Colosseum featuring screens designed for high-tech content shows; themed bars in collaboration with major Italian brands; and 16 restaurants and "food experience" areas, including a new restaurant for families with children.

Costa Smeralda is scheduled to depart Turku shipyard in Finland on December 6 for the Mediterranean, where it will be refueled with LNG in Barcelona on December 18, followed by calls to Marseille on December 19 and Savona on December 20, as part of three presentations with travel agents. On December 21, Costa Smeralda will depart Savona for its maiden voyage, a weeklong cruise calling on Marseille, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Civitavecchia and La Spezia.

Seabourn Introduces New "Bow Lounge"
Seabourn will open a window on the majesty of nature for guests of its new purpose-built expedition ship, Seabourn Venture, which is set to sail to the world's most coveted and remote destinations beginning in June 2021. The Bow Lounge is designed to further enhance the perspectives that the natural world presents, increasing the sense of discovery that is sure to captivate guests by bringing a view of the outside inside combined with direct access to the outdoors.

Located on Deck 6, at the forward-most part of the vessel, the Bow Lounge will provide the closest access to water level via the foredeck, making it the perfect spot for guests to spend some time watching for marine life. Within a few steps, guests can be outside, with a vantage point that is ideal to watch the ship's course, spot wildlife, or take in the beautiful natural scenery.

As envisioned by renowned designer Adam D. Tihany, the creative design eye behind the new vessels, the Bow Lounge will introduce some technological enhancements, providing guests with a first for Seabourn with touch screens showing the ship's plotted location, as well as navigational charts and scientific information used to help guide the ship on its journey. Large screens will project live footage from mounted cameras outside the ship, and from a drone when conditions permit, while the touch screen monitors invite guests to explore on their own with a live map, weather information, and notes detailing upcoming expeditions. Expedition Team members will be available within the Lounge throughout the day to interact with guests, answer questions, provide interpretation and aid in spotting wildlife.

The space will also provide direct access to the Bow Sprit on Deck 6 forward (when conditions permit) to give guests the sensation of standing in front of the ship and views of waves parting and ice sloughing off the bow at the waterline.

"While we can't put Seabourn guests in the captain's chair on the bridge, the Bow Lounge helps guests feel like they are part of the action because of the position at the very front of the ship along with information like maps and charts displayed on touch screens," said Richard Meadows, president of Seabourn. "The lounge is one of those unique features that will set Seabourn Venture apart from most expedition vessels, where guests can quickly walk outside to spot natural features or wildlife as they learn from the expedition team, while illuminating and invigorating the experience by getting them as close as possible to the world outside."

Thoughtfully designed in deep blue and orange hues, the Bow Lounge features rhythmic architectural lighting panels that balance the space and contribute to the feeling of a control center laid out for full access by guests. Wood and metal patchwork wall panels will reflect the angular motif of the custom carpet and reintroduce a handcrafted sensibility into one of the more technical and engaging guest spaces onboard.

The "Pantry in the Bow Lounge," one of eight dining experiences on Seabourn expedition ships, will allow guests to help themselves to freshly prepared light fare and refreshments as they scan the horizon and socialize with others onboard.

Each new ultra-luxury expedition ship will feature 132 luxurious oceanfront veranda suites. Renderings of the new ships, suites and public spaces of the ship can be found in the link here. More details about the expedition ships will continue to be revealed in the coming months. Itineraries for the first season of travel aboard Seabourn Venture are now open for booking on the Seabourn website. The second sister ship is set to launch in May 2022.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises Announces Christie Brinkley Will Serve As Godmother To Seven Seas Splendor
She's a world-famous supermodel, glamorous actress, proud mother and successful entrepreneur – and now will be recognized as Godmother to the cruise ship that perfects luxury.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises, the world's leading luxury ocean cruise line, today announced that Christie Brinkley's latest role is an honor, serving as Godmother to Seven Seas Splendor. A centuries-old maritime tradition, a ship's Godmother christens the vessel and is responsible for bestowing good luck over the ship and to all guests and crew who sail her. Brinkley will christen Seven Seas Splendor in Miami on February 21, 2020.

"Christie Brinkley is a universally beloved icon who is synonymous worldwide for her beauty, style and commitment to health and happiness," said Jason Montague, president and chief executive officer of Regent Seven Seas Cruises. "It's fitting that the Godmother of Seven Seas Splendor reflects timeless elegance, vitality and sophistication, as Regent has perfected all the details of luxury onboard Seven Seas Splendor. We are deeply honored that Christie will christen our newest ship and delighted to welcome her to the Regent Seven Seas Cruises family."

Brinkley is excited to serve as Godmother to Seven Seas Splendor, a spacious yet intimate ship with 542 crew caring for 750 guests.

"We learn best about the beautiful world around us by exploring new cities, immersing ourselves in different cultures and interacting with the gracious people who live there," Brinkley says. "We cherish and remember these moments more when we experience them with the people we love. The absolute most invigorating and luxurious way to travel the world is by cruising the seas."

"As a woman who strives to inspire other females to achieve their career and personal aspirations, I'm especially proud to be Godmother of the first new cruise ship in maritime history to be captained by a female, the trailblazing Captain Serena Melani," Brinkley said.

Like Brinkley, Seven Seas Splendor is vibrant and beautiful. Currently being built in Ancona, Italy, Seven Seas Splendor will offer her 750 guests the most luxurious accommodations as she sails to the world's iconic destinations and less-familiar hidden gems.

The all-suite, all-balcony ship is a work of art, from bow to stern, perfecting uncompromised luxury with elegance, comfort and personalized guest service. More than 46,000 square-feet of Italian marble will adorn Seven Seas Splendor – over an acre of marble – and her 375 suites include nearly 52,000 square-feet of balcony space – among the largest balconies at sea. The beautifully appointed suites range from the 307 square-foot Veranda Suite to the lavish 4,443 square-foot Regent Suite.

The Regent Suite sets the tone for Seven Seas Splendor's 14 other astonishing suite categories in offering the most luxurious accommodations at sea. It features the ultimate comfort of a $200,000 Hästens Vividus custom handmade mattress, an in-suite spa retreat featuring a personal sauna, steam room and treatment area with unlimited spa treatments, unobstructed 270-degree views over Seven Seas Splendor's bow from the 1,300 square-foot wraparound veranda, and a glass-enclosed solarium sitting area on top of the bridge for a Captain's view to see the world's most beautiful destinations. Guests in the Regent Suite also enjoy first-class air accommodations, a dedicated personal butler to manage all the details of the guests' experience, and a personal car with driver and guide in every port.

Seven Seas Splendor will feature a multi-million-dollar art collection, a Culinary Arts Kitchen with 18 stations for hands-on gourmet cooking demonstrations presented by master chef instructors, and Serene Spa & Wellness, a new globally inspired spa brand created for Seven Seas Splendor offering exclusive treatments that integrate techniques and ingredients from destinations around the world to soothe both the body and mind.

The ship's exquisite restaurants include Compass Rose, the largest specialty restaurant at sea; Pacific Rim, a dramatic Pan-Asian restaurant with a mythical dragon greeting guests; Prime 7, an intimate and elegant steakhouse; Chartreuse, featuring classic French fare with a modern twist; and Sette Mari at La Veranda, serving guests authentic Italian specialties and featuring stunning, over-water alcove seating that jets out over the ocean for an even closer connection to the sea, surrounded on three sides by inspiring, magnificent views.

"Wherever you turn on Seven Seas Splendor, you will be surrounded by elegance, comfort and hospitality," Montague said. "Every detail has been thoughtfully considered to create a ship that perfects luxury."

During her inaugural 2020 season, Seven Seas Splendor will sail the Caribbean and Mediterranean, helmed by 30-year veteran Captain Serena Melani.

Azamara Reveals Destinations to Sail to Now, Next Year, and In the Future
Azamara, the boutique cruise line dedicated to Destination Immersion, announces the brand's recommended voyages for travelers looking to sail now, next year, and in 2021/2022, highlighting a holiday voyage, 2020 maiden ports, and 27 new sailings for 2021 and Winter/Spring 2022.

Where to Sail Now, a Holiday Voyage Not to Miss:
Travelers can add an extra dimension of destination immersion to their travels by joining one of Azamara's 15-Night New Year's Eve in Rio Voyage, setting sail December 21, 2019. Azamara Pursuit will depart from Buenos Aires for Montevideo, where guests will experience an overnight in the destination before venturing to São Paulo and Ilhabela, where guests will have the opportunity to spend late nights in both destinations. Additional highlights include Paraty, where guests will have the opportunity to tour Cachaca distillery – home to the national liquor of Brazil – and Buzios, a small fishing village that was originally settled by European pirates and slave traders. To ring in the New Year, Azamara is bringing guests to Rio De Janeiro, where excursions range from joining a professional photographer through the street of Rio to capture the beauty of the destination and then to the heart of all the festivities on Copacabana Beach to ring in 2020 with fireworks and explosions of color and light.

Voyages to Book Next Year – 2020 Maiden Ports:
In 2020, Azamara will be taking its fleet, for the first time, to 41 maiden ports across the world. Starting off the year in paradise, travelers on the 15-Night Tahiti & New Zealand Voyage will visit Bora Bora, French Polynesia, which grants the opportunity for ocean-lovers to experience a Aquasafari Underwater Walk amongst colorful coral reef and marine life. With a variety of experiences, other new destinations include Abardeen, Scotland, where guests on the 11-Night Scotland Intensive Voyage can participate in a "Castle Crawl" to the areas collection of fortresses, including Craigievar Castle and Drum Castle. Further up north, passengers on the 13-Night Iceland Intensive Voyage will stop in Husavik, Iceland and visit the famous Whale Museum, where they will learn about the history, habits, and ongoing conservation efforts to protect the local population. Switching continents, sun-seeking cruisers on the 22-Night Western Africa Journey can visit Abidjan, Ivory Coast, and make their way to the nearby former French Colonial Capital of Grand Bassam, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to the National Costume Museum.

Looking Ahead – Sailings on the Horizon:
With the addition of 27 new itineraries to Azamara's 2021 and winter/spring 2022 sailings, the brand is taking exploration to new heights with over 140 overnight stays around the world to deepen traveler's discovery of destinations including Eastern Europe. For example, guests sailing on the 14-night Black Sea voyage, which departs on July 20, 2021, will uncover the ancient secrets of the region, which some believe is the site of the lost city of Atlantis. Kicking off in Athens – Europe's oldest city – travelers will journey to the Greco-Roman city of Ephesus, followed by a visit to the resort town of Varna, Bulgaria; Constanta, Romana; and opulent, Odessa, Ukraine. While in Odessa, guests can visit Shustov Cognac Museum to learn about its history and dynasty, wine making and distillation of spirits, followed by a tasting of four different brandies in the tasting room.

Viking Announces New Seine River Ships For 2020
Viking today announced new details about its 2020 river cruise season, which will see the addition of four new ships custom built to navigate the Seine River in the heart of Paris. Inspired by the design of the award-winning Viking Longships, the four new, identical vessels will debut in 2020; all will be deployed on Viking's popular eight-day Paris and the Heart of Normandy itinerary by 2021.

Hosting 168 guests in 84 staterooms, the new Seine Ships – Viking Fjorgyn, Viking Kari, Viking Radgrid and Viking Skaga – will be smaller than Viking Longships, but will feature many of the same popular features – including an Aquavit Terrace, a wide variety of stateroom choices and onboard solar panels, as well as Viking's signature Scandinavian design aesthetic. Designed specifically to navigate the Seine River, these four ships will dock in the center of Paris, adjacent to the Eiffel Tower.

"We have always had a strong vision for how to help guests explore the world in comfort. For 22 years, we have led the industry in defining what modern river cruising looks like for experienced travelers who have interests in history, art and culture," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "We continue to lead because we focus on the destination, and we continue to innovate for our guests, offering them new and different opportunities for learning – and opening doors around the world at places that may otherwise have been difficult to visit."

Sailing roundtrip from Paris, guests on Viking's Paris and the Heart of Normandy itinerary explore Giverny and visit the beautiful gardens and charming farmhouse where Claude Monet lived and worked; trace the footsteps of Joan of Arc in Rouen; walk hallowed ground at Normandy's American Military Cemetery and World War II beaches; and savor Normandy cuisine. This 8-day cruise along the Seine River celebrates history, art, food and customs in the country's most dazzling urbane and pastoral settings.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 45.41 + 2.07%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 121.82 + 2.24%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.69 - 6.76%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 54.86 + 3.22%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
What was the inspiration for the distinctive funnel paint job on the ships of Carnival Cruise Line?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which Holland America ship was the central character in the the most successful large-scale marine rescue in peacetime history and what did she do to become a "star"?

Answer - It was the Prinsendam. Engine room caught fire on October 4, 1980 and all 529 people on board were rescured. The ship finally sank on October 11th.
courtesy of R. F. Weemer, Netherlands


Cruise News - December 2, 2019

Seabourn Celebrates Keel Laying For Its First Expedition Vessel
Seabourn celebrated the keel laying for Seabourn Venture during a ceremony held today at the T. Mariotti shipyard in San Giorgio di Nogaro, Italy. With Seabourn Venture scheduled to debut in June 2021, today's ceremony marks a significant milestone in the construction of the line's first ultra-luxury purpose-built expedition ship.

"This milestone is always an exciting moment, as it represents another step forward in a new chapter of expedition cruising for Seabourn and our guests," said Richard Meadows, president of Seabourn. "I am incredibly proud of the way our fleet has continued to evolve and deliver over more than three decades of the finest cruise experience on the seas. As Seabourn Venture continues to take shape, we look forward to revealing more details and highlights of her progress over the months to come."

A second Seabourn expedition vessel, still to be named, is scheduled to launch in May 2022. Together, the ships will offer the best in expedition travel blended with ultra-luxury amenities and personalized service by leading travel experts and seasoned professionals with deep experience in expedition, hospitality, and ultra-luxury cruising. Both vessels are being built for diverse environments to PC6 Polar Class standards and will include an array of modern hardware and technology that will extend their global deployment and capabilities, including two custom-built submarines onboard each ship to provide passengers unforgettable views of the world beneath the ocean's surface.

"T. Mariotti's commitment and dedication to the construction of the first ultra-luxury expedition vessel for Seabourn is high and for this I would like to thank all those who have long been working on this ambitious project," says Marco Ghiglione, managing director of T. Mariotti. "After an intense design phase, this marks a new step forward in the process of building the ship, marking the result of a well-established collaboration with a major partner like Seabourn."

Renowned hospitality designer Adam D. Tihany is designing the public areas and all categories of the ship's 132 luxurious oceanfront veranda suites, including the first-ever two story Grand Wintergarden Suite, as well as a bespoke furniture collection for both expedition vessels. Renderings of a selection of these spaces can be found in the link here.

Seabourn continues to represent the pinnacle of ultra-luxury travel with intimate ships offering key elements that set the line apart: spacious, thoughtfully appointed suites, many with verandas and all 100% ocean front; superb dining in a choice of venues; complimentary premium spirits and fine wines available on board at all times; award-winning service and a relaxed, sociable atmosphere that makes guests feel right at home on board. The ships travel the globe to many of the world's most desirable destinations, including marquee cities, more than 170 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and lesser-known ports and hideaways.

Carnival Cruise Line Kicks Off Winter Cruises from San Diego
Carnival Cruise Line returned to the Port of San Diego this weekend to launch a winter schedule of three- to 15-day voyages aboard Carnival Miracle, marking the line’s first departure from the port in seven years.

The cruise schedule began yesterday with a seven-day sailing to the Mexican Riviera, and features a wide range of durations and destinations, including:

• three-day weekend getaways visiting Ensenada Dec. 27, 2019 and Jan. 3, 2020.

• five-day voyages departing Dec. 22, 2019, and Jan. 12, 2020, that spend two days in Cabo San Lucas.

• a four-day New Year’s Baja Mexico cruise featuring Catalina Island and Ensenada departing Dec. 30, 2019.

• A six-day cruise featuring two days in Cabo San Lucas and a day-long visit to Ensenada departing Jan. 6, 2020.

• Three longer-length Carnival Journeys adventures, including 14- and 15-day Hawaii cruises visiting popular destinations throughout the Aloha State departing Dec. 8, 2019 and Jan. 17, 2020, respectively, along with a 13-day Panama Canal sailing from San Diego to Miami Feb. 1-14, 2020 offering a unique opportunity to transit through the Panama Canal in addition to visiting exotic destinations in Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica and Colombia.

Carnival Miracle features many of the line’s signature dining, entertainment and accommodations options, including guest favorites such as the Caribbean-inspired RedFrog Pub and cocktail pharmacy-themed Alchemy Bar, a water park, specialty dining options, a comedy club, and a 14,500-square-foot spa.

“We’re delighted to return to the Port of San Diego to offer this diverse schedule of convenient and attractive voyages for our guests,” said Fred Stein, Carnival’s vice president of revenue, deployment and itinerary planning. “The West Coast is an important and fast-growing market for Carnival and these departures from San Diego provide guests a wide array of exciting cruise choices with stops along Baja Mexico, the Mexican Riviera and Hawaii.”

“The Port of San Diego is excited for the return of Carnival Cruise Line as part of our homeported cruise business,” said Garry Bonelli, chairman of the board of port commissioners. “We are proud to once again partner with Carnival and we welcome Carnival Miracle to our cruise lineup.”

Carnival Miracle will return to San Diego to operate another winter schedule in 2020-21.

Carnival Miracle’s San Diego-based schedules are part of the line’s West Coast expansion that also includes its first-ever program from San Francisco to Alaska, Hawaii and Baja Mexico as well as the arrival of Carnival Panorama which kicks off a year-round schedule from Long Beach Dec. 11 – the company’s first new cruise ship in Southern California in 20 years.

San Diego is an integral component of Carnival’s ship deployment strategy in which the line positions ships near large U.S. population bases along the East and West Coasts and the Gulf of Mexico. Including San Diego, Carnival sails from 19 North American homeports providing a cost-effective means for guests to get to and from their cruise. It’s estimated that roughly half of the U.S. population is within a day’s drive of a Carnival homeport.

Antarctica Bridge: Silversea Becomes First Cruise Line To Fly Guests Directly To Antarctica In Business-Class Comfort
Silversea Cruises announces a first in the ultra-luxury segment: a new fly-cruise service to Antarctica in business-class comfort, as part of the largest ever Antarctica offering in the cruise line's history. Named Antarctica Bridge, the new service will provide discerning travellers with the fastest, most direct route to the White Continent. Departing from December 2021, the collection of 12 fly-cruise voyages aboard Silver Explorer will further enhance Silversea's industry-leading, all-inclusive Polar offering. Sales for Antarctica Bridge open on December 10, 2019, and fares start from USD 17,500 per person, based on two sharing.

Enjoying direct flights from Chile's Punta Arenas to King George Island in Antarctica, travellers will fly 670 nm (1,240 km) over the Drake Passage on a private plane – reserved exclusively for Silversea's guests – that has been specially adapted to land on King George Island. Hosted by Silversea representatives and offering travellers the luxury of a business-class configuration, the flight will take just two hours each way, meaning guests will avoid approximately four days at sea on the return journey. A bespoke in-flight entertainment programme, which will include Zodiac and IAATO briefings, will be tailored entirely for Antarctic expeditions to prepare guests for the unique adventure ahead. Travellers will then spend five full days – the same amount of time as on Silversea's conventional Antarctica voyages – travelling deep into the destination, accompanied by Silversea's team of expedition experts.

"This is a defining moment for Silversea's expedition offering: Antarctica Bridge will revolutionise the way in which our guests discover Antarctica," says Conrad Combrink, Silversea's Senior Vice President of Tour Operating, Expedition & Destination Management. "The luxury of choice is a key feature of our cruise line's offering; our new Antarctica Bridge service expands our guests' choices. Many will still choose to cross the epic Drake Passage, which is an unforgettable experience in itself, but Antarctica Bridge is perfect for time-conscious travellers, as it will immerse guests into the White Continent in a shorter timeframe. This builds on our existing offering, which comprises many 10-day voyages, as well as 18-day expeditions and longer, which are the ultimate in deep exploration. With the launch of Antarctica Bridge, our guests will be able to choose from 59 Antarctica voyages."

Unlocking Antarctica in just nine nights for time-conscious travellers, Silversea's Antarctica Bridge itineraries are scheduled to comprise the following*:

• Day 1: Inbound international flight, via Santiago. Travellers have the choice of either inclusive economy-class air or reduced business-class air on their inbound international flight to Punta Arenas, Chile, as part of Silversea's ongoing air promo.

• Day 2: Pre-cruise hotel night in Punta Arenas. Ahead of flying to Antarctica, the cruise line's guests will spend a night at the elegant Hotel Cabo de Hornos in Punta Arenas. Here, they will receive their expedition kit, including rubber boots, parka, walking poles for the duration of the expedition, waterproof trousers, expedition backpacks and a water bottle. A dedicated Expedition Team will be on the ground prepare guests for the journey ahead.

• Day 3: Flight to King George Island (Antarctica). A first in the ultra-luxury cruise segment, travellers will fly to Antarctica in the equivalent of business-class comfort, saving two days at sea each way. Silversea's guests will land at the Chilean base of Presidente Frey, which is normally used by scientists as they journey to the island's research stations.

• Days 3-9: Antarctica Expedition aboard Silver Explorer. With five full days in Antarctica, guests will enjoy an unprecedented level of flexibility aboard Silver Explorer, and an enhanced scope to discover each destination. From King George Island, travellers will explore the same destinations as on Silversea's conventional Antarctica offering: Antarctic Sound, the Antarctic Peninsula over three days, and the South Shetland Islands, before returning to King George Island once more. Silversea's Expedition Team will guide Zodiac tours, shore experiences, kayaking tours, and provide lectures on the region's fascinating geology, wildlife and history to enrich the journey for guests. In addition to witnessing remarkable icebergs, guests will visit large penguin rookeries, and may see several species of seals, whales and birds.

• Day 9: Flight from Antarctica to Punta Arenas. Return in style and comfort on the 75-seat aircraft to Punta Arenas, accompanied by Silversea representatives.

• Day 9: Post-cruise hotel night in Punta Arenas. Spend a relaxed post-cruise hotel night at the Hotel Cabo de Hornos and explore Punta Arenas once more.

• Day 10: Outbound international flight. Fly home.

Aboard Silver Explorer, as on all Silversea vessels, travellers will benefit from Silversea's trademark level of service and luxury accommodations. Each of the ship's ocean-view suites provides guests with the personalised service of a butler; a 24-hour in-suite dining service; a bottle of champagne upon arrival and a drinks bar, stocked with guests' preferred beverages; fine dining, including complimentary caviar on demand, canapes, and a rich offering of seafood and steak; and an array of other inclusive amenities. Enlarged to 14 members for the 2021-2022 season, Silversea's Expedition Team will enrich guests' travels with insightful lectures, workshops, tours on the ship's enlarged fleet of 14 Zodiacs, kayak tours, and shore experiences.

What's Included in Silversea's New Fly-Cruise Offering?

• Roundtrip economy class air to Punta Arenas (Chile)

• Private flight to and from Antarctica (King George Island)

• One night pre-cruise and post-cruise hotel stay in Punta Arenas

• Expedition gear – parka, waterproof trousers, walking poles (rentals), rubber boots (rentals), expedition backpack and water bottle

• Welcome reception and bon voyage dinner (in Punta Arenas)

• Pre- and post-cruise meals

• Transfers between airport and hotel, and luggage handling, when guests take international air through Silversea Silversea's standard expedition inclusions, which comprise guided Zodiac tours and shore side activities, led by the Expedition Team; enrichment lectures; butler service for every suite; and many additional amenities.

*Please note: schedule is subject to change, based on a variety of external factors.

Norwegian Cruise Line Announces "Free the Beat" Songwriters Cruise
Norwegian Cruise Line, the innovator in global cruise travel, has partnered with Kellie Pickler and Warner Chappell Music to host its second songwriters cruise through the brand’s “Free the Beat” program, a music platform through which the industry’s top songwriters, artists, talent and creators have the opportunity to develop content for Norwegian Cruise Line’s first-ever global music library.

This month, Pickler and seven songwriters from Warner Chappell Music will set sail from Honolulu, Oahu on a seven-day cruise to the islands of Hawaii on the only U.S.-flagged cruise ship, Pride of America.

“I am so excited to host Norwegian Cruise Line’s special songwriters cruise on Pride of America,” said Kellie Pickler, American country music artist. “I am always inspired by the places I visit, and on this trip, the other songwriters and I will have the beautiful Hawaiian Islands as our backdrop to inspire us on new songs! It’s going to be a really unique experience. I can’t wait!”

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Norwegian Cruise Line to continue to build their brand music library,” said Katie Jelen, Director of Synchronization for Warner Chappell Music. “This collaboration allows us to extend a fun opportunity to our writers and help tell Norwegian’s brand story through the power of music.”

Songwriters include:

• Liz Rose known for “You Belong with Me” by Taylor Swift, “Cry Pretty” by Carrie Underwood, and “Girl Crush” by Little Big Town

• Abram Dean known for “Red Eye” by Andy Grammer and “Celebrate” by lunsford, which has been featured in a recent Norwegian Cruise Line advertising campaign

• Audra Mae known for “Little Red Wagon” by Miranda Lambert, “Heartbeat Song” by Kelly Clarkson and “Who I Was Born to Be” by Susan Boyle

• Mark Trussell known for “RSVP” by Maren Morris, “Details” by Billy Currington and “Beside you Babe” by Blake Shelton

• Kallie North known for “American Woman” by Muddy Magnolias, “Like It Or Not” by Willa J and “When I Get Going” by Kallico

• Brandon Day known for “Top Of The World” by the Plain White T’s, “Break it In” Eli Young Band and “Fire’t Up” by Brantley Gilbert

• Johnny Simmen known for producing the albums “The Fifth” by Birds of Bellwoods and “Beauty Fools” by The Naked Wild, as well as co-writing “Games” from the forthcoming Caitlyn Smith record

The songwriters will gain inspiration by experiencing everything this majestic archipelago has to offer, from the historical sites, to the waterfalls, volcanoes, beaches and the natural beauty of each destination, including Maui, Hilo, Kona, Kauai and the Na Pali Coast, all while writing songs for the cruise line’s global music library.

Norwegian Cruise Line’s goal is to encourage and enable songwriters to freely develop content to enhance the guests’ experiences through onboard curated playlists from the world’s most beautiful destinations that one can discover on and off the ship. During the cruise, they will have the opportunity to enjoy 15 restaurants, spacious suites and a family-fun packed itinerary from snorkeling to surfing lessons, a traditional luau, relaxing on Hawaii’s finest beaches and so much more.

In August 2019, Norwegian Cruise Line launched the ‘Free the Beat’ program and the brand’s first global music library. Multi-platinum recording artist and songwriter Andy Grammer hosted the first seven-day songwriters cruise to Alaska from Seattle with writers from Family Affair Productions. Content and music were inspired by the exploration of the Mendenhall Glacier, snorkeling among the marine life and experiencing Alaska’s native culture.

Carnival Line Becomes First Cruise Operator Certified 'Sensory Inclusive'
Expanding its commitment to making a cruise vacation more accessible for everyone, Carnival Cruise Line has become the first cruise operator to be certified "sensory inclusive" by KultureCity, a leading nonprofit organization dedicated to accessibility and inclusion for individuals with sensory needs and invisible disabilities.

The rollout of the program started in October and all of Carnival Cruise Line's South Florida-based ships are certified, with the balance of the fleet scheduled to be completed by March 2020.

As part of a comprehensive fleetwide training program, hundreds of guest-facing team members, including guest services personnel and youth staff, have been trained to understand and help adults, youth and children with sensory related questions or needs relating to conditions such as Autism, ADHD, Down syndrome, PTSD, etc.

In addition, KultureCity sensory bags are available for check out for the duration of the cruise and contain a variety of items to help calm, relax and manage sensory overload. Items include comfortable noise cancelling headphones (provided by Puro Sound Labs), fidget toys, and a visual feeling thermometer (produced in conjunction with Boardmaker), as well as a KultureCity VIP lanyard to help staff easily identify guests.

These measures have proven to be helpful in the more than 450 landside venues like stadiums, arenas and amusement parks that have partnered with KultureCity. Since the program has been implemented aboard the first wave of Carnival's ships, feedback from guests and their families has been overwhelmingly positive.

Once on board, guests should inquire at the Guest Services desk to inquire about borrowing a sensory bag and any other accommodations that are available.

Informational videos featuring actor Christopher Gorham, a member of the KultureCity board of directors, designed to create greater awareness among all guests, are playing on in-stateroom televisions on the line's six certified ships and will expand across the fleet as the program rolls out to other ships.

"Carnival Cruise Line and KultureCity share a heartfelt commitment to acceptance and inclusivity. Working together, all of our guests can maximize their enjoyment and be the truest versions of themselves during their time on board," said Vicky Rey, Carnival's vice president of guest care and communications and the company's ADA Responsibility Officer.

"We're proud and grateful to partner with Carnival Cruise Line, offering guests with sensory needs an opportunity to more fully enjoy their vacations and create wonderful memories with their friends, families and loved ones. We appreciate Carnival Cruise Line for taking this important step in making their vacations accessible to everyone," said Dr. Julian Maha, co-founder, KultureCity.

In addition to the KultureCity certification, Carnival will be the first cruise operator to complete an additional special needs certification program offered by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES).

The IBCCES program includes 17 continuing education units (CEUs) of training in a variety of special needs, such as Autism, Down Syndrome, mobility issues, and various other disabilities. Additionally, Carnival's youth staff have different resources on hand to help soothe, calm and entertain children participating in our youth programs, such as weighted vests, conversation cards, sensory games and other aids. Myron Pincomb, board chairman of IBCCES: "It has been a pleasure working with the Carnival team. Their unwavering passion to go above and beyond to create the best experience possible allows guests of all abilities to 'Choose Fun'." "Carnival Cruise Line is to be commended for training their staff about autism and offering sensory bags that will enable individuals with autism and their families to have an enjoyable cruise," Dr. Temple Grandin, a renowned autism advocate and author and one of the first individuals on the autism spectrum to document the insights she gained from her personal experience with autism. To obtain more information on the KultureCity program, please visit the Guests with Disabilities page on Carnival.com.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 44.49 - 0.02%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 119.15 - 0.23%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.74 - 6.33%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 53.15 - 1.52%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which Holland America ship was the central character in the the most successful large-scale marine rescue in peacetime history and what did she do to become a "star"?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which former cruise ship started her career running cruise/ferry service between New York and the Bahamas

Answer - The ship was the Island Escape (formerly Viking Serenade and Scandinavia). It used to sail as the Scandinavia when it sailed the New York/Bahamas route as a cruise/ferry.
courtesy of Dirk Heiningn


Cruise News - November 25, 2019

Norwegian Cruise Line Christens Newest Ship, Norwegian Encore, in Miami
Norwegian Cruise Line, the innovator in global cruise travel with a nearly 53-year history of breaking boundaries, hosted a christening ceremony in Miami for its newest innovative ship, Norwegian Encore.

Over 3,500 guests consisting of travel partners, investors, government officials, media, and family and friends of Norwegian Cruise Line were invited to the pier-side ceremony and celebration at Port Miami. An interactive arrival experience indicative of the brand's commitment to world-class entertainment and innovative and meaningful experiences, encouraged attendees to share the moment and to make lasting memories.

During the ceremony, guests enjoyed a showcase of the Company's onboard entertainment, which included "Choir of Man" and the Tony Award-winning "Kinky Boots." Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings; Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line; and Harry Sommer, incoming president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line, welcomed attendees and spoke to the Company's history and commitment to Miami, the beauty of the new ship, her industry-leading amenities, and their gratitude for all those who ensure a memorable guest experience aboard Norwegian Encore.

"Norwegian Cruise Line has been sailing from Miami for over 50 years," said Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings. "We were the first to offer weekly cruises to the Caribbean from Miami, which shaped the city's reputation as the 'Cruise Capital of the World.' Five years ago, we launched our history-making Breakaway Plus class and today, we are proud to christen Norwegian Encore, the final ship of this class and a true representation of the evolution of the brand, right here in our hometown of Miami."

After the traditional blessings, honorary godmother and GRAMMY Award-winning artist, Kelly Clarkson, officially christened Norwegian Encore with the champagne bottle break across the ship's hull. Guests were then treated to a live performance of Clarkson's "Miss Independent," "Stronger," "Since U Been Gone," and other chart-topping hits.

This milestone marks the closing of the Company's most successful class of ships, the Breakaway Plus class, which first debuted in Miami with the introduction of Norwegian Escape in 2015. Norwegian Escape, Joy, Bliss and now Encore, have revolutionized the cruising industry with elevated experiences that include the world's only racetracks and open-air laser tag arenas; the most sophisticated gaming and virtual reality complexes; world-class entertainment that rivals anything on land; and new, creative culinary offerings.

Norwegian Encore will offer seven-day voyages to the Eastern Caribbean from Miami beginning Nov. 24, 2019; Bermuda, and Canada and New England itineraries from New York City beginning Apr. 22, 2020; and voyages to the Western Caribbean from Miami beginning Dec. 12, 2020. In the spring of 2021, she will make her West Coast debut and sail to Alaska from Seattle.

Oasis Of The Seas Now Sailing From Miami Following $165 Million Refit
Royal Caribbean International's Oasis of the Seas has made a splash in its return to South Florida with a $165 million new look. The original gamechanger debuts a thrilling combination of new Royal Caribbean experiences, including the cruise line's first barbecue restaurant, Portside BBQ; and guest favorites, from the tallest slide at sea–the Ultimate Abyss–to popular live music venue Music Hall, and a reimagined, Caribbean pool deck. Oasis is now sailing 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises from Miami before heading to the Big Apple in May 2020, where it will become the first of its kind and the largest cruise ship to sail from the area.

"To see a 63-day, $165 million effort come to life on a ship as iconic as Oasis of the Seas is remarkable," said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. "Our guests–new and fans alike–are in for an Oasis that takes family vacations to the next level. With exciting, new adventures and signature experiences, this ship is every bit as original as the day she debuted 10 years ago, almost to the day."

Top Deck Thrills

• The Ultimate Abyss – A 10-story test of courage and the tallest slide at sea that twists and turns for the optimal thrill factor.

• The Perfect Storm – The action-packed trio of multistory waterslides known as Typhoon, Cyclone and Supercell punch up the level of excitement on the pool deck.

• A reimagined, Caribbean pool deck – With Splashaway Bay kids aquapark, signature poolside bar The Lime & Coconut, hammocks, casitas, in-pool loungers and live music, days and nights at sea take on a whole new meaning.

Palate Pleasing Dining

• Portside BBQ – Royal Caribbean's very first barbecue restaurant serves up an authentic, meat-packed menu inspired by the best-in-class barbecue across the United States.

• Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade – With 80 big-screen TVs, tabletop games, arcade classics, an Owner's Box VIP area, bar fare and ice-cold brews, Playmakers is where everyone in the family can enjoy themselves.

• Bionic Bar by Makr Shakr – A dynamic duo of robotic bartenders mans this guest-favorite venue.

• El Loco Fresh – Offering Mexican street fare to go, the casual spot's menu includes made-to-order tacos, burritos, quesadillas, mini salads and more.

• Sugar Beach – With more than 220 types of candy and a new walkup ice cream window, this is the sweetest spot on board.

Show-stopping Entertainment & Hot Spots

• Aqua80 – In the unparalleled AquaTheater, Oasis debuts a brand-new aqua show that sets jaw-dropping feats, high dives and acrobatics to iconic tunes from the 80s. Guests will take a spin back to a totally radical decade brought to life by extreme athletes and divers.

• One Sky – A new, full-scale production takes center stage in the Royal Theater. This Royal Caribbean original guides travelers through a journey of discovery with music and choreography that explores human connections.

• Spotlight Karaoke – The dedicated karaoke spot where budding singers can rock out to their favorite tunes at the venue's main stage or in one of two private rooms. Music Hall – The live music venue makes its Oasis Class debut with a roster of live cover bands, an expansive dance floor, a pool table and intimate lounge seating across two levels.

Family Adventures Await

• All-new Adventure Ocean – Featuring interactive, personalized and immersive experiences, the award-winning program's major makeover encourages young guests to choose their own adventures across an entirely new layout.

• Social298 – A 360-degree transformation debuts a new, maxed-out teens lounge with gaming consoles, music, movies, places to hang out and a new outdoor deck known as The Patio.

• Glow-in-the-dark laser tag – In Clash for the Crystal City, two teams on the brink of extinction– the Yetis and Snowshifters–go head to head to take control of the mythical ice city.

• Royal Escape Room – Mission Control: Apollo 18 – Guests walk into a replica of the original Apollo Mission Control Room, take their stations, and must maneuver a series of mind-bending puzzles to successfully launch Apollo 18.

The newly amplified Oasis also sets sail with the Royal Caribbean International mobile app. Guests can now check in for their cruise vacation from their phone, and once on board, enjoy a lineup of capabilities. With the easy-to-use digital stateroom key and in-app TV remote features, the ability to explore and plan activities for each day, and make dining, shore excursion and show reservations, travelers can seamlessly transition into vacation mode.

Oasis is the first of the cruise line's renowned Oasis Class–the world's largest cruise ships–to be modernized as part of the Royal Amplified fleet modernization effort. An investment of more than $1 billion, across 10 ships in four years, the program touches every facet of the guest experience on board.

Vanna White Selected As Godmother For New Carnival Panorama
Carnival Cruise Line – has selected one of the most popular television hostesses ever – Vanna White – as godmother for Carnival Panorama when she is officially named during its ceremony in Long Beach, Calif., on December 10.

"Vanna has been that welcoming face, cheering on and watching over Wheel of Fortune contestants for decades, and we love the fact that Vanna will be doing the same for Carnival Panorama, her guests and crew, as the ship's godmother," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "Every night, millions of Americans welcome Vanna into their homes. She is beloved. What other game show hostess has earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and has been inducted into the Broadcasting Hall of Fame? And she's got the most famous wardrobe on television!"

"Carnival Cruise Line has been delivering fun and memorable vacations while taking great care of their guests for almost 50 years, and it is such an honor to be asked to be a part of the celebration of their newest ship coming to California," said White. "There is always so much excitement whenever we give away a Carnival cruise on the show. I can't wait to see the ship and to meet the crew in December."

Carnival Panorama departed from the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy on Nov. 1, and is en route to Long Beach for her naming ceremony on Dec. 10 and inaugural sailing Dec. 11. The vessel is the first new ship Carnival has deployed to the West Coast in 20 years, and is the third in Carnival's popular Vista Class, joining her sister ships Carnival Vista and Carnival Horizon.

Vanna and her colleague Pat Sajak are no strangers to Carnival Cruise Line. The Wheel of Fortune slot machines are popular attractions in the casinos across the Carnival fleet, and Pat and Vanna have been on board to tape segments for Wheel of Fortune as part of several successful cross-promotions between the brands over the years.

Over the course of her 37 years on Wheel of Fortune, Vanna has appeared in more than 7,000 episodes, cheering on contestants and dazzling in a new outfit each night. Her success has provided a foundation to help others in need. Combining her passion for crocheting and helping children, the Myrtle Beach, S.C. native launched her own line of yarn called "Vanna's Choice," with a portion of the proceeds benefiting St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, of which Carnival is a longtime supporter. vFollowing an inaugural three-day cruise, Carnival Panorama will launch year-round seven-day Mexican Riviera service from Long Beach, Calif., Dec. 14, departing every Saturday on week-long voyages to Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas.

As the name implies, Carnival Panorama reflects design inspiration with more opportunities to connect with the sea. The ship features a number of innovations including the first Sky Zone trampoline park at sea as well as a first-in-fleet culinary studio where guests can participate in hands-on cooking classes, tastings and other food-related activities hosted by the ship's chefs.

Carnival Panorama also offers a variety of guest favorites such as a WaterWorks aqua park, Sky Ride, the popular bike in the sky with breathtaking views, a suspended ropes course and dining venues like Bonsai Teppanyaki and Guy's Pig & Anchor Smokehouse Brewhouse with barbecue favorites from Food Network star and Carnival partner Guy Fieri along with craft beers brewed on board.

A wide range of staterooms choices are available as well, including spa staterooms with exclusive privileges at the luxurious Cloud 9 Spa, extra-spacious staterooms in Family Harbor and tropical-inspired Havana staterooms with access to a Cuban-themed bar and pool.

Keel Laid For Holland America Line’s Ryndam
Holland America Line celebrated the keel laying of its new 2,668-passenger Ryndam Nov. 21, 2019, at Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard in Italy. A 505-ton block, about 14 by 34 meters, was lowered by crane into the yard’s building dock, marking the official beginning of construction. The Pinnacle Class ship is scheduled for delivery in May 2021.

The event was attended by Keith Taylor, Holland America Group’s executive vice president, fleet operations, and Jan Koller, Holland America Line’s project manager, newbuilds. The block laid was one of 85 blocks in total that will make up the ship.

“The keel laying is an important construction milestone because it marks the moment when we can really start to watch the ship take shape and progress toward its launch in 18 months,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “Adding Ryndam to our fleet will provide a new canvas for us to share our brand and enable us to show the world to even more cruisers.”

As the third in the series, Ryndam will feature the highly successful Pinnacle Class amenities and innovations including the 270-degree surround screen World Stage, Rudi’s Sel de Mer, Grand Dutch Cafe, Lincoln Center Stage, B.B. King’s Blues Club and Rolling Stone Rock Room. The ship’s design will be created by leading hospitality designer Adam D. Tihany and designer and architect Bjørn Storbraaten.

This is the 17th ship constructed for Holland America Line by Italian shipyard Fincantieri, which most recently built Pinnacle sister ship Nieuw Statendam. The cruise line began its relationship with Fincantieri in 1992 with the building of Statendam.

The first Ryndam was part of the Holland America Line fleet from 1901 to 1929, starting as Rijndam before receiving the English spelling in 1923. In 1927 Ryndam I became the first Holland America Line ship to sail a world cruise, although it was chartered as a floating school at sea for that voyage. The second Ryndam served from 1951 to 1973, and the third sailed in the fleet from 1993 through 2015, when it was transferred to sister brand P&O Australia and now cruises as Pacific Aria.

Seabourn Announces Destinations For Fall 2020 Through Spring 2021
Seabourn announced this week that it is offering travelers extraordinary worldwide itineraries scheduled from fall 2020 through spring 2021. The programming includes more than 60 unique sailings to hidden harbors, marquee ports, must-experience destinations, and some accessible only by smaller ships. Guests joining one of the voyages will visit at the ideal time, enjoying peak season weather, a wealth of experiences and will feel right at home with exceptional personalized and intuitive service, generous amenities, and all-inclusive unique experiences aboard the fleet of ultra-luxury Seabourn resorts at sea.

The three seasons from fall 2020 through spring 2021 will offer abundant opportunities for luxury travelers to see and explore new sights and exotic cultures. With voyages ranging from seven to 140 days, the line's award-winning ships will visit exotic destinations on all seven continents. The itineraries, fares and complete details of Seabourn's fall 2020 through spring 2021 schedule can be viewed at www.seabourn.com.

"Each year, we're busy leveraging our 30 plus years of experience to design enticing itineraries, layering them start-to-finish with engaging offerings and new and notable destinations for our guests to experience the world as only Seabourn can present it," said Chris Austin, senior vice president of Global Marketing & Sales for Seabourn. "These itineraries hold real excitement for first-time and returning guests alike as they explore remarkable destinations and memorable settings from the comforts of the world's best ultra-luxury resort at sea."

The Seabourn fleet is scheduled to visit a number of new and notable destinations through fall 2020 and winter and spring 2021. Seabourn Odyssey and Seabourn Sojourn will sail the Caribbean, seeking out highlights such as Soper's Hole, British Virgin Islands; Rodney Bay, St. Lucia; Charlestown, Nevis; and Iles des Saintes, a group of small islands in the archipelago of Guadeloupe. Guests en route from Athens to Dubai aboard Seabourn Encore will have opportunity to experience Haifa, Ashdod, Tel Aviv, Bethlehem, and Jerusalem in Israel; the Ruins of Petra in Aqaba (Jordan); and Seabourn's popular Caviar in the Surf and Beach BBQ event on Sir Bani Yas Island in the Al Gharbia region of United Arab Emirates. In Southeast Asia, Seabourn Ovation will offer one of the line's best overland programs from coastal Sihanoukville to the extraordinary temple complex of Angkor Wat in Cambodia; as well as a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ha Long Bay, Vietnam, renowned for its emerald waters and limestone islands topped with rainforests. The company is the Official Cruise Partner of UNESCO World Heritage, with more than 400 tour options available to operate at UNESCO sites in more than 70 countries.

Seabourn itinerary highlights include:

• Seabourn Ovation – The most recent addition to the Seabourn fleet will head into fall 2020 departing Athens bound for Dubai on a 16-day voyage through the Holy Land and Arabia, followed by a 16-day voyage through Arabia and India with the ship arriving in Singapore in early December. Beginning late December through February 2021, Seabourn Ovation will sail on a series of 14-day Thailand & Vietnam voyages between Hong Kong and Singapore, visiting Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia. The ship will also visit China and Philippines on a 14-day Gems of the South China Sea voyage departing January 31, 2021. In March, the ship departs for an 18-day trip from Singapore to Dubai, visiting destinations in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, India, and United Arab Emirates. Seabourn Ovation's season in Asia will come to a close with an 18-day voyage from Dubai to Athens, setting her up for Europe starting in late April 2020.

• Seabourn Encore – Seabourn Encore will head into fall 2020 visiting destinations in Southern Europe starting with a 10-day cruise from Valletta, Malta to Athens, followed by an 18-day cruise of the Holy Land and Arabia bound for Dubai. The better part of November will be dedicated to an 18-day voyage to Singapore, with calls in Oman, United Arab Emirates, India, Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia. She will then return to focus on Indonesia with a 10-day cruise from Singapore to Benoa (Denpasar), including two final days in Bali. Then it will be onto Australia with a 16-day voyage to Sydney, including overnights in Darwin, Cairns, and Sydney, as well as cruising the Great Barrier Reef. The ship will then sail on six 16-day cruises between Sydney and Auckland, exploring the wonders "down under" and the "Land of the Long White Cloud." Seabourn Encore will then retrace its route with 17 days from Sydney to Benoa; 10 days from Benoa to Singapore; and 18 days from Singapore to Dubai. Following an 18-day voyage from Dubai, the ship arrives at Athens in mid-May, when it will begin its summer season in Europe.

• Seabourn Quest – During fall 2020, Seabourn Quest will head south and sail along the western edge of South America, starting with a 22-day Panama & South America voyage from Miami. The ship will sail to Puerto Limon (San Jose), Costa Rica, followed by a full transit of the Panama Canal, and then sail along the coasts of Ecuador, Peru and Chile before arriving at San Antonio, the port for Santiago, Chile. Leaving November behind, the ship will turn toward her Antarctic season with five 21- to 24-day voyages between San Antonio and Buenos Aires, Argentina. Each voyage will include a six-day Antarctic Experience, where guests will have opportunities to step ashore on the "White Continent," dependent on weather conditions. At the start of spring, Seabourn Quest will depart Buenos Aires for 21 days to sail along the Brazilian coast and Amazon to Manaus. In early April, she will head out of the Amazon from Manaus to Miami over 15 days, including Devil's Island and several islands of the Caribbean. The ship will make its way across the Atlantic Ocean on a 15-day voyage to Rotterdam, The Netherlands, for the start of summer in Europe, with stops at the Azores of Portugal, as well as Normandy, France, and Bruges, Belgium along the way.

• Seabourn Odyssey – From fall 2020 through winter 2021, Seabourn Odyssey will be traversing the Caribbean Sea with the return of its popular and combinable seven-day voyages either round trip from Bridgetown, Barbados or between Bridgetown and Philipsburg, Sint Maarten. There will be 20 seven-day Caribbean cruises for the ship altogether, each perfect for new-to-Seabourn guests and Seabourn Club members yearning for a quick Seabourn experience. For those seeking a longer time on board, guests may book back-to-back voyages without any ports repeated. Finally, in early April, the ship will take a 14-day route from Bridgetown to Miami, featuring stops at Curaçao, St. Lucia, Aruba, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and more. Seabourn Odyssey will then sail westbound for a 21-day voyage to Los Angeles, with destinations along Columbia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and the Caribbean and Pacific coasts of Mexico, and a full transit of the Panama Canal in between. Then it'll be off to the ship's summer season in Alaska and British Columbia, beginning with a 6-day cruise from Los Angeles to Vancouver starting in mid-May.

• Seabourn Sojourn – As 2020 draws to a close, Seabourn Sojourn will be cruising the Caribbean through fall. The season will start with a 21-day voyage from Los Angeles to Miami, with destinations along the Pacific coast of Mexico and Central America leading to a full west-to-east transit of the Panama Canal, followed by Colombia, Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. Five Caribbean voyages will follow, with 12-Day cruises sailing either round trip from Miami or between Miami and San Juan, Puerto Rico with destinations including St. Barthélemy, Guadeloupe, Martinique, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and the British Virgin Islands. The voyages include Seabourn's popular Caviar in the Surf and beach barbecue. Then, beginning January 3, 2021, Seabourn Sojourn will embark upon the 140-day World Cruise: Extraordinary Oceans. Guests who join for the entire voyage will sail east-to-west from Miami visiting extraordinary and visit 60 noteworthy destinations in 32 countries around the world, including in Central and South America, the islands of the South Pacific, Australia, Indonesia, and Africa.

New Seafood Restaurant by Rudi Sodamin to Debut on Mardi Gras
Carnival Cruise Line announced today that a new seafood restaurant designed by acclaimed culinary artist Rudi Sodamin will be among the varied dining options on Mardi Gras when it debuts next summer.

Sodamin’s reputation for curating unique dining experiences will lend itself to Rudi’s Seagrill which will offer dishes as artistic as they are flavorful. In addition to an extensive selection of seafood entrees and sides, there will also be several dishes presented as playful “food faces” that double as Instagram-worthy pieces of art.

“We wanted to offer our guests a new and exciting dinner-time option that is as sophisticated as our steakhouses but takes our tradition of fun to the next level,” said Cyrus Marfatia, vice president of culinary and dining for Carnival Cruise Line. “Rudi’s Seagrill will feature next-level seafood delicacies and showcase Rudi’s innovative artistry and ‘plates with personalities’ where guests can feast their eyes on a new personable presentation every time they dine – we’re sure everyone will enjoy them.”

“I’ve spent decades perfecting dishes for my restaurants both onboard and ashore, but it has been such a special experience to partner with Carnival to bring this exciting restaurant concept to life,” said Sodamin. “I believe the quality of a restaurant starts on the plate, so with Rudi’s Seagrill, I want guests to enjoy the food and feel connected to their meals in a fun and engaging way.”

Creatively crafted with a keen attention to detail, the menu at Rudi’s Seagrill will feature a selection of appetizers, entrees and desserts presented as food faces including big eye tuna, grilled branzino, seared scallops and apple cheese cake.

Guests can also choose from a full menu of dishes including crab cake, salt-roasted prawns, broiled lobster tail, and chocolate truffle cake. For guests who prefer non-seafood options, there will be plenty of alternatives, as well.

Sodamin’s entrée into the culinary world began with an apprenticeship in Austria at age 14 which led to earning the title as youngest chef at sea leading a team of 260 culinary professionals. Sodamin, one of the hospitality industry’s most innovative chefs, serves as Holland America Line’s Master Chef, is a member of a number of prestigious culinary organizations including the Club des Chefs des Chefs and has authored a dozen cookbooks including “Food Faces” which features 150 vibrant images of his edible creations. The book as well as other merchandise will be sold onboard Mardi Gras.

Situated on Deck 8 between La Piazza and Summer Landing, Rudi’s Seagrill will boast an 80-seat indoor dining room with warm lighting and stylish design elements as well as an al fresco area on The Lanai. From creative décor to distinctive table settings, the restaurant will offer a fun and immersive atmosphere with Sodamin’s food face-themed artwork front and center as well as highlights including fish-shaped ‘Gurgle Pots’ that make comical gurgling sounds when poured and plates featuring Rudi’s most beloved food. Rudi’s Seagrill will carry a reservations fee in line with Carnival’s other full-service specialty restaurants.

Currently under construction at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Turku, Finland, Mardi Gras is slated to enter service in Europe Aug. 31, 2020, before repositioning to New York for a series of voyages then shift to Port Canaveral for year-round seven-day Caribbean cruises beginning in Oct. 2020.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 44.50 - 0.45%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 119.42 + 0.86%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.79 - 5.95%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 53.97 + 0.90%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which famous liner is credited with starting the Art Deco movement at sea and what year did she enter service?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which former cruise ship started her career running cruise/ferry service between New York and the Bahamas

Answer - The ship was the Island Escape (formerly Viking Serenade and Scandinavia). It used to sail as the Scandinavia when it sailed the New York/Bahamas route as a cruise/ferry.
courtesy of Carlos Ortega


Cruise News - November 18, 2019

Virgin Voyages sets sights on the Med for second ship 'Valiant Lady'
Virgin Voyages announced this week that their second ship will be called ‘Valiant Lady’ and that she will sail 7-night Mediterranean itineraries out of Barcelona, Spain when she debuts in May 2021. Bookings for the three feature itineraries, that all offer overnight and late night stops across some of the hottest destinations in France, Italy and Spain, will open in December 2019.

“We are thrilled to unveil the name of our second ship - Valiant Lady - and to deliver on our commitment to offer travelers a sea change in how they can experience cruising in this fantastic part of the world. Our Sailors will fall in love with the places we go and the moments and memories they will be able to create on our gorgeous ship. After all, there is no better way to sail the seven seas than doing it the Virgin way,” said Tom McAlpin, CEO of Virgin Voyages.

2021 Summers on the Med with a home in Barcelona
Valiant Lady will dock just steps from Las Ramblas at the World Trade Center Barcelona, positioning Sailors as close to the heart of this stunning departure-port-city as possible. This prime location, usually reserved by luxury liners and mega-yachts, gives walking access to the dynamic and diverse neighborhoods of Poble Sec, el Raval, Barri Gotic, Port Vell and the famed urban beach of La Barceloneta. With a weekly Sunday sail away, sailors will enjoy extra time in Barcelona and be able to take advantage of many different flight options. Virgin Voyages is partnering with Global Ports Holding, the world’s leading independent cruise port operator, to prepare for Valiant Lady’s arrival in early summer 2021.

Open for bookings December 2019, 7 night sailings start May 2021 and feature an overnight in Ibiza The Med, home to some of the world’s best beach clubs, cultural experiences, restorative spas, yacht clubs and nightlife, is a perfect choice for Virgin Voyages. Valiant Lady will sail 3 different itineraries with truly breathtaking ports of call.

• Itinerary 1 includes the exotic delights of Barcelona, Ibiza, Monte Carlo, Marseille and Olbia

• Itinerary 2 includes a fantastic sampling of the Med featuring Barcelona, Ibiza, Toulon, Ajaccio, Marina di Carrara and Cagliari

• Itinerary 3 is a mostly Spanish immersion, stopping by Barcelona, Ibiza, Palma de Mallorca, Malaga and the British port of Gibraltar

Hearing Sailor and First Mates (travel partners) requests for later stays in ports, Virgin has delivered this on every itinerary. This means Sailors have the flexibility to make the most of their time in port and take in all that these destinations have to offer. Of particular note, every sailing features a Friday overnight stay in Ibiza, one of the most stunning and thrilling Balearic islands. Whether it’s a blissed out beach club, a bohemian market, a serene spa, watching the stunning sunsets, or a late night out, there is no comparable place that offers the variety and style of this ultimate destination.

Virgin Voyages new cruise ship which plans to sail in the Mediterranean with destinations throughout Europe.

Virgin Voyages also revealed that the name ‘Valiant Lady’ was inspired by the latin word valere and from the French origin, vaillant, meaning “bold”, “strong”, and “courageous." While historically, the image of women only graced the bows of ships to bring protection to a vessel, ‘Valiant Lady’ embodies the idea that women design, captain, lead and champion change in the maritime industry.

The Scarlet Lady’s sister ship ‘Valiant Lady’ will continue Virgin Voyages’ ‘Scarlet Squad’ program aimed at recruiting, supporting and mentoring female shipboard talent, and growing opportunities to access leadership roles in onboard areas such as marine, technical and hotel management that statistically show low numbers of female leadership.

All Virgin Voyages ships have been designed by a leading creative collective who are the brains behind some of the world’s most loved boutique hotel brands. The collective includes names like Design Research Studio (Tom Dixon), Roman & Williams and Concrete Amsterdam who have all been inspired by the brand’s design concept- the Modern Romance of Sailing and Mission to Redefine the Experience of a Vacation at Sea.

Celebrity Cruises To Set Sail With First-Ever All-Female Bridge And Officer Team
While progress has been made, the reality is that only 2% of the world's mariners are women. But not at Celebrity Cruises. The modern luxury brand is leading the industry into a more diverse future with their bold initiatives to #BRIDGEthegap. Now, the brand that made headlines by hiring the first American female cruise ship captain, Kate McCue, and again by announcing that 22% of their bridge teams are made up of women, is now continuing with another historic milestone: the announcement of the first-ever sailing with an entirely female bridge and officer team.

This historic sailing will take place on International Women's Day – March 8, 2020 – aboard the brand's newest and award winning ship, Celebrity Edge. Captain McCue will be at the helm and will be accompanied by 26 other women to create an all-female bridge and officer leadership team, and Celebrity's President and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo.

"We are all passionate about closing the gender gap," said Lutoff-Perlo. "Over the last few years, we have worked hard to diversify the crew on board and bring more women than ever into our industry. None of this could have been possible without the leadership and shared vision of the extraordinary men and women I work with every day, led by Patrik Dahlgren and Brian Abel – who take this challenge to heart and have made it possible. We are fortunate to have many incredible, experienced and beyond-qualified women who have worked tirelessly to achieve these positions. And we also celebrate the many men who continue to support them and help champion having more women crew onboard."

Senior Vice President of Global Marine Operations for Royal Caribbean Crusies Ltd. Patrik Dahlgren, who has spearheaded Celebrity's bridge diversification efforts under the leadership of Lutoff-Perlo, added: "Since 2015, we have raised the percentage of qualified women on our navigational bridges from 3% to 22%. Now, we hope this all-time industry-high will continue to grow; we just need more women to raise their hands for careers at sea, especially in engineering."

"Excitement does not even begin to describe how I'm feeling about working alongside these incredible, barrier-breaking women on Celebrity Edge for this truly historic sailing," added Captain McCue. "I am inspired every day by the amazing women we have working throughout this organization – both on land and at sea. They're proof that there's power in diversity."

The below all-women bridge and leadership team for this historic sailing of Celebrity Edge represents 17 different countries, including:

• Captain Kate McCue – USA
• Staff Captain Maria Gotor – Spain
• Hotel Director Niina Hautaniemi – Finland
• Guest Relations Director Julie Sherrington – United Kingdom
• F&B Director Byliana Velikova – Bulgaria
• Senior Doctor Jennifer Bernardo – Philippines
• Cruise Director Sue Denning – United Kingdom
• Safety Officer Ionela Burduja – Romania
• Associate Hotel Director Milana Dortangs – Netherlands
• Revenue and Marketing Director Sarah Guinot – France
• HR Manager Angel George – USA
• Financial Controller Teresa de Guzman – Philippines
• Chief Housekeeper Lyudmyla Miroshnychenko – Ukraine
• Safety Investigation Officer Alexandra Villarreal – USA
• Environmental Officer Maria Karoutsou – Greece
• Chief Security Officer Mor Segev – Israel
• Chief Officer Maria Koliou – Greece
• Chief Officer Maria Agius – Malta
• Doctor Sumaya Guffar – South Africa
• First Officer Rachel Arnold – United Kingdom
• First Officer Despoina Tsairi – Greece
• Third Engineer Anna Avgoustaki – Greece
• Second Officer Nicholine Tifuh Azirh, who was the first West African woman to ever work on the bridge of a cruise ship when hired in 2017 – Cameroon
• Second Officer Ioana Tzovara – Greece
• Third Officer Esperanza Romero – Spain
• Third Officer Cassandra May Mead – New Zealand
• Apprentice Officer Gifty Adu Gyami – Ghana

As part of this one-of-a-kind sailing, Celebrity is curating unique specialty programming, including evening gallery exhibitions and art auctions featuring female artists, celebrating the female form; collaborating on an exclusive design with luxury jewelry designer Reout Kallati; hosting special events, such as a cinema series featuring iconic and impactful female directors, leads and inspirational narratives; and other dedicated onboard programming, including Women of the World-themed trivia challenges, Fearless Female Officers vs. Guests Pool Volleyball tournament, and a Q&A panel with the ship's inspiring female leadership team.

Additional specialty programming is still to be announced, including a moderated discussion panel with current confirmed special guests including artist and child prodigy Autumn de Forest and fashion designer Mary Frances; unique networking opportunities and more, all with the goal of inspiring a new generation of young girls and women to continue pushing boundaries and breaking barriers. To learn more about the special International Women's Day 2020 sailing and meet the leading ladies coming together on board, visit www.celebritycruises.com/about-us/celebrity-cares/international-womens-day.

Celebrity Edge, which debuted in late 2018, was brought to life by a team of visionary architects and designers and features an array of stunning industry-first innovations – such as the transformational Edge Stateroom with Infinite Veranda and Magic Carpet, the world's first cantilevered platform that travels up to 16 decks alongside the ship. Celebrity Edge is currently finishing her first season sailing visiting the breathtaking vistas of the Mediterranean, offering a range of seven- to 11-night sailings from iconic cities like Barcelona and Rome, and will be returning to the Caribbean later this month. Building on Celebrity Edge's incredible momentum, Celebrity Apex debuts in 2020, followed by two additional sister ships in 2021 and 2022.

Carnival Legend to Offer Diverse European Cruise Schedule Then Begin Year-Round Sailings from Baltimore in 2021
In 2021, Carnival Cruise Line will operate its most extensive European season ever with a diverse schedule of voyages aboard Carnival Legend that includes visits to 58 stunning ports across 21 countries, including the line’s first cruises to the Greek Isles and a return to Iceland, Norway and the Baltic.

During these “bucket list” voyages, guests can explore ancient ruins, sample regional cuisines, experience unique cultural opportunities, and visit centuries-old UNESCO sites, including Geirangerfjord in Norway, the Acropolis in Greece, Cinque Terre in Italy and Mont Saint-Michel in France.

Following its European season, Carnival Legend will shift to year-round deployment from Baltimore beginning in November 2021. In turn, Carnival Pride, currently based in Baltimore, with reposition to Tampa, providing exciting new choices in these two important markets.

“For Carnival Legend, we’ve assembled our most diverse season ever with opportunities to visit an array of breathtaking sites across nearly two dozen countries, all combined with the one-of-a-kind vacation experience that Carnival is known for. It’s really the best way to see Europe,” said Fred Stein, Carnival’s vice president of revenue, deployment and itinerary planning.

Carnival Legend will reposition for its European season with a 15-day transatlantic crossing from Tampa to Barcelona March 26-April 10, 2021, with stops in Nassau, The Bahamas; Bermuda; Ponta Delgada (Azores), Portugal; and Malaga and Valencia, Spain.

From there, the ship will operate a wide range of exciting voyages from Barcelona, London (Dover) and Rome (Civitavecchia), including:

Norwegian Fjords, Scandinavia, Russia and the Baltic

• June 4 and July 16 from London (Dover): Nine-day Norwegian Fjords with stops at popular scenic towns like Stavanger, Flaam, Alesund, Andalsnes, Olden, Molde, Geiranger; Hellsylt, and Bergen, and opportunities to cruise majestic fjords such as Geirangerfjord, Sognefjord and Nordfjord.

• July 25 and Aug. 15 from London (Dover): 12-day Scandinavia & Russia cruise with ports including Gothenburg, Sweden; Berlin (Warnemunde) Germany; Helsinki, Finland; St. Petersburg, Russia (overnight call); Tallinn, Estonia; and Copenhagen, Denmark.

Iceland & British Isles

• June 25 and Aug. 6 from London (Dover): Nine-day British Isles voyages calling at Edinburgh, Invergordon and Isle of Skye, Scotland; Belfast (Northern Ireland), UK; Liverpool, England; and Cork (Cobh), Ireland.

• June 13 and July 4 London (Dover): 12-day Iceland & British Isles cruises with calls at Reykjavik, Grundafjordur, Akureyri, and Seydisfjordur, Iceland; Belfast (Northern Ireland), UK; Isle of Skye, Scotland; and Kirkwall, Orkney Islands or Lerwick, Shetland Islands, Scotland/UK.

Greek Isles and Italy

• Sept. 5 and 24 from Rome (Civitavecchia): 10-day Greek Isles and Italy voyages calling at Mykonos, Santorini, Athens and Katakolon, Greece; Messina or Catania (Sicily), Naples, Italy; and Izmir (Ephesus), Turkey. An 11-day cruise departing Oct. 4 adds a stop in Corfu, Greece.

Western Europe and the Mediterranean

• May 17 and Oct. 23 from Barcelona: Eight-day Mediterranean voyage visiting Valletta, Malta; Messina (Sicily), Naples, Rome (Civitavecchia) and Livorno, Italy; and Marseilles, France or Palma de Mallorca, Spain.

• May 25 from Barcelona: 10-day western Europe cruise featuring Malaga, Spain; Gibraltar; Lisbon and Leixoes (Porto), Portugal; La Coruna, Spain; Paris (Le Havre), and Zeebrugge (Brussels), Belgium.

• Aug. 27 from London(Dover): Nine-day western Europe cruise featuring Paris (Le Havre), La Coruna, Spain; Leixoes (Porto) and Lisbon, Portugal; Seville (Cadiz) and Cartagena, Spain.

• Sept. 15 and Oct. 15 from Rome (Civitavecchia): Eight- and nine-day Mediterranean voyages calling at ports such as Naples, Italy; Kotor, Montenegro; Corfu, Greece; Messina or Catania (Sicily), Livorno, Italy; Dubrovnik, Croatia; and Marseilles, France.

The program concludes with a 14-day transatlantic crossing from Barcelona to Baltimore Oct. 31-Nov. 14 with stops at Cartagena (Murcia) and Seville (Cadiz), Spain; Funchal (Madeira) and Ponta Delgada and Praia da Vitoria, Azores, Portugal.

Carnival Legend will kick off its year-round schedule from Baltimore Nov. 14, 2021, operating seven-day cruises departing every Sunday. A wide variety of week-long adventures are offered visiting destinations including Nassau, Freeport and the private Bahamian destinations of Half Moon Cay or Princess Cays as well as Grand Turk.

The ship’s Baltimore-based program also includes a special 14-day Carnival Journeys – Panama Canal voyage departing Jan. 9, 2022 calling at Half Moon Cay, The Bahamas; Ocho Rios, Jamaica; Limon, Costa Rica; partial Panama Canal transit; and Grand Turk. Carnival Journeys cruises offer special onboard enrichment programming and fun activities like the 1980s-style Throw Back Sea Day.

Carnival Pride will assume Carnival Legend’s schedule of six-, seven-and eight-day cruises beginning Nov. 14, 2021. The sailings feature popular western Caribbean destinations, including Cozumel, Costa Maya, Belize, Mahogany Bay, Costa Rica, the Panama Canal and Grand Cayman.

The ship will also offer a 14-day Carnival Journeys cruise from Baltimore to Tampa Oct. 31- Nov. 14, 2021, featuring a partial transit of the Panama Canal, along with visits to Grand Turk; Amber Cove, Dominican Republic; Santa Marta and Cartagena, Colombia; Limon (Costa Rica); Mahogany Bay, Honduras; and Cozumel, Mexico.

Royal Caribbean Reveals Details Of 2021-2022 Caribbean Season
Royal Caribbean International’s 2021-2022 season will bring guests the biggest Caribbean adventure ever. Travelers will vacation to new heights with newly amplified ships, shorter itineraries and more – all packed with thrills for the entire family.

In Summer 2021, two of the world’s largest cruise ships, Symphony and Allure of the Seas will sail alternating Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries visiting Perfect Day at CocoCay. Both Oasis Class ships will take vacationers on 7-night cruises, with Symphony sailing from Miami and Allure from Port Canaveral. Following her bold $165 million amplification, Allure will pump up the adventure with the addition of the Ultimate Abyss, the tallest slide at sea that touts a 10-story plunge; The Perfect Storm, a thrilling trio of multistory waterslides; and an array of culinary possibilities with more restaurants, including the introduction of Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar and returning favorites Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade and El Loco Fresh; and more. In November 2021, Allure will depart for her winter season, making way for Harmony of the Seas’ return to Port Canaveral. Sailing from Central Florida, Harmony will offer 7-night alternating Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries, all calling on Perfect Day at CocoCay. Summer 2021 Caribbean sailings on board Symphony, Harmony and Allure open for bookings today.

The newly amplified Oasis of the Seas will return to the Big Apple for her 2021 summer season from Cape Liberty in Bayonne, New Jersey. While on board, guests can experience mouthwatering dining options, including Royal Caribbean’s new Portside BBQ – another first for the cruise line, following her recent transformation as well as chart topping hot spots like Spotlight Karaoke and Music Hall. After spending a summer in Southampton, England, in October 2021, Anthem of the Seas will make her way back to Cape Liberty to offer 7-night cruises to The Bahamas, along with a handful of Southern Caribbean sailings for the holidays. Guests can begin to book sailings on Oasis today and sailings on Anthem the week of Dec. 2, 2019.

Also cruising from South Florida is Vision of the Seas. The Vision Class ship will sail another winter season in Fort Lauderdale, offering 10- and 11-night Southern Caribbean itineraries. Rhapsody of the Seas will spend her winter in Tampa to embark on 7-night Western Caribbean adventures. Sailings on board Vision and Rhapsody are now open.

Vacationers can experience the Island of Enchantment when sailing from San Juan, Puerto Rico on Freedom of the Seas and fan-favorite Empress of the Seas. Both ships will take guests on exotic 7-night itineraries for winter 2021-2022, which include visits to far-flung destinations like Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands, Bridgetown, Barbados and St. George’s, Grenada, are open for bookings today.

Royal Caribbean is amping up vacations in Bermuda and Canada with a stellar lineup of sailings. Freedom of the Seas will homeport in Cape Liberty for the first time in summer 2021, touting brand-new features and fan favorites following a major $116 million amplification. For the second consecutive summer, Empress will offer 7-night itineraries from Bayonne to Bermuda and select sailings that feature New England and Quebec City, Canada. Just in time for leaf peeping season, she will sail to Montreal offering 10- and 11-night Canadian adventure cruises.

Enchantment of the Seas will call Baltimore home, offering 5- and 9-night sailings to Bermuda and Perfect Day at CocoCay in the summer as well as a mix of 8- and 12-night sailings to The Bahamas, Perfect Day at CocoCay and the Southern Caribbean in the winter. She will take vacationers to enjoy the fall foliage in Canada during select fall sailings. Adding to the Canadian offerings from the brand, Brilliance of the Seas will spend the fall of 2021 offering 7-night Canada sailings from Boston. Sailings will open the week of Dec. 2.

The cruise line continues to change the game for short Caribbean cruise vacations. The amplified Mariner of the Seas will sail from Port Canaveral year-round, offering 3- and 4-night Bahamas and Perfect Day at CocoCay itineraries in the summer. She will then transition to 4- and 5-night itineraries in the winter. Sailing from Miami in the summer and Fort Lauderdale in the winter, the amplified Navigator of the Seas will also offer 3- and 4-night getaways to The Bahamas and Perfect Day at CocoCay. Sailings on board Mariner and Navigator will open the week of Dec. 16.

Adventurers looking to cruise from the Lone Star state in the summer on 2021 can sail on board Liberty of the Seas roundtrip from Galveston, Texas. The guest favorite will set course for the Western Caribbean on 7-night sailings before she transitions to Miami for the winter to offer 3-and 4-night Bahamas and Perfect Day at CocoCay itineraries. Liberty’s 7-night itineraries are open for bookings today and her shorter itineraries will open the week of Dec. 2

Seabourn Sets Sights On 2020 Alaska & British Columbia Season
Seabourn is preparing for its return to Alaska and British Columbia in 2020 with adventures in "The Great Land" that are sure to entice a range of travelers, including a series of shorter seven-day voyages.

Drawing inspiration from the outstanding success of the past three seasons, Seabourn has created an enriching and exciting cruise schedule for Seabourn Sojourn to pursue in summer 2020, including NEW seven-day cruises heading north and south; Ventures by Seabourn optional, for-charge guided kayak, Zodiac and hiking tours; a variety of immersive shore excursions; and two available pre- and post-cruise Seabourn Journeys. Seabourn is also enhancing four itineraries in the region with scenic cruising of the majestic Glacier Bay National Park, with narration and insider observations by a National Park Service Ranger to enhance the experience.

Guests who book may receive a number of benefits on select sailings that could include suite upgrades, shipboard credits, air credits, complimentary internet, discounts on back-to-back voyages, and more.

"Alaska and British Columbia never fail to delight our guests, who often come back for more," observed Rick Meadows, president of Seabourn. "We're always excited to send Seabourn Sojourn north, and the 2020 season will be a great opportunity to see just how far Seabourn's Ultimate Alaska will go."

There's a Seabourn Cruise Just Right for You
Seabourn's 2020 season welcomes 10 new seven-day cruises to complement Seabourn's popular lineup of 10-, 11- and 12-day voyages. With sailings between Vancouver and Juneau, each seven-day cruise can be combined to create a 14-day round-trip cruise including spectacular glacier experiences at Hubbard Glacier and Tracy/Endicott Arm. Guests who book the back-to-back voyages can also save up to 15 percent on the cruise fare.

Up Close and Personal - Venturing into Adventure
The popular Ventures by Seabourn optional shore experience program will return in 2020 with experiences centered around adventurous activities within the region's most breathtaking destinations. Escorted by an expert team of 14 that includes scientists and local guides, the optional for-charge kayak, Zodiac, catamaran, and hiking tours offer close-up touring opportunities that larger cruise ships cannot access.

The world-class expedition team members will also be featured in the ship's highly engaging and complimentary Seabourn Conversations program. The team are also available to interact with guests throughout the day and evening, sharing their keen insight and in-depth knowledge about the history, ecology, and culture of the region. Guests who can't get enough can get more through team chronicles and photos shared via Seabourn's Ventures Tracker.

Ventures by Seabourn destinations to be reached on the water or on foot include Alert Bay, Inian Islands, Rudyerd Bay (Misty Fjords), College Fjord, Tracy Arm/Endicott Arm, Haines (Skagway), Hubbard Glacier, Wrangell and Harriman Glacier.

The Great Land – By Land
Seabourn Sojourn's journey to Alaska & British Columbia will offer many exciting opportunities for guests to step off ship and onto land for memorable shore excursions lasting less than a day. Scheduled shore excursions for the 2020 season include:

• Haines: Burrow Creek Retreat & Crab Boil: A Mindful Living Tour – Another extension of Spa & Wellness with Dr. Andrew Weil, this tour unfolds at Burrow Creek Waterfall Lodge, a 120-acre rustic resort set just outside of Skagway along the coastline of Lynn Canal – America's longest, deepest fjord. Take in stunning viewpoints, discover how the Lodge harnesses energy from the waterfall, and enjoy an elegant off-the-grid dining experience led by a Dungeness crab-and-shrimp boil.

• Sitka: Salmon Fishing at Sitka – Fall hook, line and sinker into one of the best-kept secrets of Southeast Alaska, with sport fishing for king, silver, chum and pink salmon in Sitka Sound. With dramatic views and opportunities to see other marine wildlife, this is an all-around exciting excursion for fishers of all skill levels. This excursion is part of the line's popular "Enjoy Your Catch" experience, an exclusive culinary experience offering a memorable opportunity for guests to not only hook but also savor their own personal catch of the day prepared by the onboard culinary team. "Enjoy Your Catch" experiences are also available in other ports including Ketchikan, Icy Straight Point and Wrangell.

• Juneau: Deluxe Dog Sledding Adventure by Helicopter – Fly over the Juneau Icefield and soak in the views to reach Norris Glacier and the dog sledding camp high on the glacier. On this once-in-a-lifetime experience, guests will head out with a professional musher for a five-mile mush across the glacier and the snowy terrain of the Juneau Icefield. Guests will also learn about the care of the huskies and the specific wellness program and care the animals receive.

So Much More to Explore
Guests can extend their time in Alaska and British Columbia with Seabourn Journeys, available pre- and/or post-cruise, featuring destinations and experiences in treasured locations that cannot be accessed on single-day excursions from Seabourn Sojourn. Seabourn Journeys available in 2020 include:

• The Denali Experience – Truly a peak experience in Alaska, the line's four- and five-day, pre- and post-cruise Seabourn Journey allows guests options to travel by road, rail and air to see the highest mountain in North America.

• UNESCO Banff National Park & Rocky Mountaineer – Head inland by rail from Calgary on this seven-day pre-cruise Seabourn Journey to experience the majesty and grandeur of the Canadian Rockies, Banff National Park and Lake Louise, with spectacular scenery and Gold Leaf Service on the Rocky Mountaineer all the way. Glacier Bay: Alaska's UNESCO Treasure

A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1992, Glacier Bay has experienced many major glacier advances over millennia. See its current state of beauty via enhancements to four Seabourn Sojourn sailings in 2020 with the Official Cruise Partner of UNESCO World Heritage, including:

• 10-Day Glacier Bay Sojourn – Sailing from Vancouver, British Columbia to Seward (Anchorage), Alaska from August 28-September 7, 2020, this 10-day journey will take in both Glacier Bay National Park and the multi-glaciered marvel of College Fjord, as well as a visit to Rudyerd Bay (Misty Fjords).

• 7-Day Glacier Bay & Canadian Inside Passage – Departing Juneau, Alaska bound for Vancouver, British Columbia from September 25-October 2, 2020, this sailing will pack glaciers, rustic frontier towns, and abundant wildlife viewing into one thoroughly enjoyable week.

• 14-Day Glacier Bay, Fjords & Canadian Inside Passage – Departing Vancouver on September 18, this voyage offers one of the most immersive Alaska and British Columbia experiences, winding through quaint ports and majestic landscapes, including a full day in Glacier Bay National Park.

• 12-day Glacier Bay & Pacific Coast – Departing Vancouver, British Columbia, this journey will heard first north, then south to Los Angeles from October 2-14, 2020, to close out Seabourn Sojourn's latest tour of "The Great Land."

Norwegian Cruise Line Offers Sneak Peak at Exclusive Beachfront Area Within Its Private Island, Great Stirrup Cay
Norwegian Cruise Line today unveiled Silver Cove, the new exclusive oceanfront resort-style destination on the Company’s private island in the Bahamas, Great Stirrup Cay.

As part of The Norwegian Edge program, which reaffirms the brand’s commitment to elevating the standard of excellence across its fleet and destinations, Great Stirrup Cay is undergoing a number of enhancements, elevating the offerings available across the 270-acre tropical oasis. During Norwegian Encore’s inaugural call to Great Stirrup Cay, guests discovered the new oceanfront lagoon area including private beach access, 38 beachfront villas, a Mandara Spa as well as a new Moet Bar and the Silver Cove Restaurant and Bar.

The Villas at Silver Cove were designed to provide guests with the same experience available across the 17-ship fleet. The 38 air-conditioned villas range from studios to larger one-and-two-bedroom villas, and they are equipped with a full bathroom, daybed, club chairs, TV with on-demand entertainment and outdoor patio and lounge seating. They also include access to a private beach and the Silver Cove Restaurant and Bar. Six lagoon one-bedroom villas include an expanded living area with a wet bar and a private king-bedded master bedroom. Two lagoon two-bedroom family suite villas also feature a private dining area, entertainment area and a larger master bedroom with a spa tub and shower.

“We were the very first in the industry to have a private island, Great Stirrup Cay, offering our guests a chance to enjoy the very best of an exclusive island experience,” said Norwegian Cruise Line President and CEO Andy Stuart. “Today, we are providing our guests with a preview of how Great Stirrup Cay is evolving and showcasing our vision for the future with the unveiling of Silver Cove, our exclusive beachfront area. Similar to the last few ships we have debuted, we are committed to elevating the Norwegian Cruise Line experience, not only at sea, but also ashore. We are excited to have Norwegian Encore call here today for the first time!” As the first in the industry to offer a private island experience, Norwegian Cruise Line continues to enhance and evolve its available offerings ashore as an extension of the innovative amenities on board. With over 1,500 feet of accessible beachfront; over 50 cabana and villa options; an array of shore excursions to choose from, including a new zipline experience that extends up to nearly 3,000 feet in length; nearly a dozen food and beverage options ashore; and its natural tropical setting, Great Stirrup Cay continues to be one of the highest guest-rated ports in the Caribbean.

First-In-Fleet Culinary Studio, 'Carnival Kitchen,' To Debut On Carnival Panorama
Carnival Cruise Line today announced Carnival Kitchen, an engaging and hands-on culinary experience led by the line's talented chefs, debuting on Carnival Panorama in December. Guests sailing on Carnival's newest ship can enjoy more than 15 onboard cooking classes inspired by the expansive array of international cuisines showcased on Carnival Panorama.

"We're committed to providing our guests with memorable onboard experiences, and now, they'll have the opportunity to explore the art of cooking alongside our incredible culinary team in a fun, informative and interactive atmosphere," said Cyrus Marfatia, vice president of culinary and dining for Carnival Cruise Line. "We've created a diverse selection of experiences that cater to every type of palate, so whether our guests want to learn how to master their favorite foods or want to try something new, Carnival Kitchen has it all."

Sample Carnival Kitchen offerings include:

• Carnival Classics Workshop Class with Dinner: discover the secrets behind Carnival's most beloved dishes including tuna tartare from Fahrenheit 555 steakhouse, saffron risotto from the Cucina del Capitano family-style Italian restaurant, and of course, the cruise industry's most popular dessert, Carnival's warm chocolate melting cake.

• The Orient Unknown Class with Dinner: master the flavors of the Far East by exploring the world of savory noodle dishes, silky soups, succulent satays and divine desserts that take participants on a journey through the cuisines of Thailand, Indonesia, The Philippines and more.

• Cake Workshop: follow step-by-step instructions to create a confectionary masterpiece from layering and filling to using hand-made fondant, ornate and edible decorations and more.

• Pasta Master Class: explore the art of Italian cooking and preparing homemade pasta by mixing, rolling and molding fresh dough into creative and unique shapes and pair them with delicious sauces from scratch.

Additional classes include sushi rolling, pizza making and pie baking, among many others, and participants have the opportunity to indulge in tastings and sample their creations. One-hour and two-hour morning, afternoon and early evening sessions are available primarily on sea days and can accommodate up to 18 guests at a time. Reservations can be made on Carnival.com pre-cruise or at any restaurant once on board.

Located on Deck 4 aft, Carnival Kitchen boasts nine marbled-granite cooking and prep stations with individual sinks, refrigerators and stove tops as well as all tools, utensils and ingredients necessary to create a memorable meal. The space is accented with white and grey pattern-tiled floors and steel ceilings and walls as well as a dedicated dining area within the Carnival Kitchen for guests in the evening classes to enjoy a themed sit-down dinner included in the price once the classes commence. Class prices range between $30 and $59, and Carnival Kitchen-branded items are available for purchase onboard.

Carnival Panorama features a number of innovations including the first Sky Zone trampoline park at sea, a massive WaterWorks aqua park, the popular bike in the sky SkyRide and dining venues like Bonsai Teppanyaki and Guy's Pig & Anchor Smokehouse Brewhouse with barbecue favorites from Food Network star and longtime partner Guy Fieri along with craft beers brewed on board.

A wide range of staterooms and suites are available as well, including spa staterooms with exclusive privileges at the luxurious Cloud 9 Spa, extra-spacious staterooms in Family Harbor and tropical-inspired Havana staterooms with access to a Cuban-themed bar and pool.

Carnival Panorama debuts with a special three-day voyage on Dec. 11, 2019, followed by year-round Mexican Riviera cruises beginning Dec. 14, 2019. Voyages depart from the newly renovated Long Beach Cruise Terminal and feature stunning destinations including Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 44.70 + 0.04%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 118.40 + 3.91%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.84 - 1.18%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 53.49 + 3.02%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which former cruise ship started her career running cruise/ferry service between New York and the Bahamas

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
From the late 1800's until the Queen Mary entered service in 1936 the names of almost all of Cunard's fleet ended in a distinctive manner. How did they end and what was the significance of the ending?

Answer - Until the introduction of QM - all Cunard ships ended their names in -ia and were named after States within the Roman Empire.
courtesy of Timothy Edgecombe, Vancouver


Cruise News - November 11, 2019

MSC Grandiosa Lights Up Hamburg's Elbe River At Official Christening Event
MSC Cruises christened MSC Grandiosa, its newest, most environmentally-advanced flagship, in the city of Hamburg, Germany on November 9, during the fourth and final night of celebrations in the Blue Port. Marking cruise line's largest and longest christening event ever, the launch of MSC Grandiosa's was part of a series of celebrations over 27 days, 8 countries and 11 ports. Following the Christening, MSC Grandiosa embarked on a grand tour, visiting Southampton, UK; Lisbon, Portugal; Barcelona, Spain; Marseille, France and Genoa, Italy. Then, MSC Grandiosa will commence her usual 7-night cruises starting November 23.

It's an extraordinary welcome for an extraordinary ship. Designed to ensure even cleaner air emissions and improved overall environmental performance both at sea and ashore, MSC Grandiosa is equipped with advanced cutting-edge technologies and sets a new standard for sustainability at sea.

On board, guests of all ages and interests will find something exciting waiting, including:

• Two original new shows from Cirque du Soleil at Sea exclusive to MSC Cruises guests

• A 305-ft.-long Mediterranean Promenade lined with international shops and restaurants

• An immersive art experience featuring etchings from Edgar Degas' Danse Dessin series

• Dedicated children's areas designed in partnership with Chicco and LEGO

• The world's first virtual digital cruise assistant – ZOE – in every stateroom

Since arriving in Hamburg on November 6, MSC Grandiosa was the subject and star of an immersive lightshow at the German city's Blue Port. Spectacular light installations by renowned artist Michael Batz bathed the port in shades of blue reminiscent of the sea to symbolize MSC Cruises' long-standing commitment to the ocean. And, MSC Grandiosa's striking silhouette was seen shimmering alongside the famous Elbphilharmonie on Hamburg's Elbe river.

The traditional Christening ceremony took place in different locations across the ship, hosted by talented actress, TV presenter, model and singer, Michelle Hunziker alongside co-host TV host & actor Jochen Schropp, one of Germany's favorite entertainers.

The festivities didn't stop there – a purpose-built "MSC Village" on the banks of the River Elbe brought the festivities to shore, welcoming 5,000 locals to experience the christening from land with live music and food trucks. Guests were joined by the popular German TV couple Annemarie & Wayne Carpendale who acted as presenters and hosts.

The evening's main spectacle occurred as MSC Grandiosa passed the Elbphilharmonie just as a special lightshow illuminated the building and ship. She took center stage on the River Elbe as Godmother Sophia Loren officially named her 15th MSC Cruises ship, followed by a celebratory firework display. MSC Grandiosa then passed through a spectacular gateway of blue light returning to her dock, symbolizing the new ship's entry to the world.

Guests on board then enjoyed a gourmet four course menu created by renowned 3 Michelin starred German chef Harald Wohlfahrt at the Gala Dinner. The menu for guests started with Chilled king crab salad with crustacean coulis and imperial caviar or Guinea fowl napoleon with apple-ginger quenelle, Riesling gelée and brioche. Next up was the traditional German dish, "Maultasche" – pasta filled with winter truffles and pistou sauce. The main dish served was an oven-roasted turbot in a saffron-mussel fumet and vegetable mélange, or a duo of veal tenderloin and braised cheek, tender savoy cabbage, glazed carrot and roasted herb jus. Finishing off the gourmet feast, guests chose from a Pistachio parfait with orange granité and exotic fruit cocktail or Chocolate tart with caramelized pears and vanilla-mascarpone ice cream.

Guests danced into the night in the Galleria Grandiosa, the ship's iconic 305-ft.-long Mediterranean promenade where popular German DJ Mousse T. and British singer Emma Lanford performed.

MSC Grandiosa will begin regular 7-night cruises in the Western Mediterranean from November 23 with six embarkation ports calling Genoa, Civitavecchia, Italy; Palermo, Sicily; Valetta, Malta; Barcelona, Spain; and Marseille, France.

Seabourn Celebrates Returning Guests With Enhanced Loyalty Program
Seabourn announced this week that it is expanding rewards for repeat guests who experience the award-winning Seabourn fleet on travel to must-see ports, hidden gems, and remote destinations around the globe. From one of the richest loyalty programs in the cruise industry to newly upgraded benefits and added savings on select voyages, Seabourn Club members understand the value of the Seabourn experience – encouraging travelers to come back, time and time again.

"The loyalty of our guests is something that we celebrate, as their repeat business and referrals to friends and family contribute greatly to our success," said Richard Meadows, president of Seabourn. "Our Seabourn Club loyalty program creates opportunities for repeat guests to save and benefit as they travel the world with Seabourn. Taken together, those benefits are our way of showing our appreciation for their loyalty year after year."

Here's a peek at some of the perks returning guests will find today from Seabourn:

Seabourn Club
The benefits of Seabourn's renowned Seabourn Club loyalty program have always been among the most valuable in the cruise industry, with various levels of membership granting distinctive rewards and options for personalization, including a generous selection of amenities and additional savings for returning guests to choose from and enjoy.

Seabourn Club benefits are redeemable based on six different membership levels – from Club Member to Diamond Elite Member status. Rewards are achieved by accruing one Seabourn Club Point for each day sailed on a Seabourn vessel, with additional Club Points available for days sailed in penthouse and premium suites, pre-cruise online purchases, onboard purchases, and days traveled on pre-, mid-, and post-cruise Seabourn Journeys. There are more than five-dozen rewards available to guests altogether: From "Onboard" amenities such as complimentary internet and telephone service, savings on shore excursions, premium wine & spirits, spa credits, and disembarkation/embarkation transfers, to "At Home" amenities such as complimentary magazine subscriptions, branded luggage tags, and savings on luggage shipping services – there is something for every member to enjoy.

The most popular Seabourn Club reward by far is a Milestone Cruise Award, including a complimentary cruise up to seven days redeemable at 140 Sailed Days, or a complimentary cruise up to 14 days redeemable at 250 Sailed Days.

Seabourn Club members will also be recognized with an onboard event and a special gift when they reach various Sailed Days Milestones from 100 Sailed Days to 2,500 Sailed Days.

Seabourn Club Savings
Launched in mid-2019, the new Seabourn Club Savings Program offers members an extra 5 percent savings on top of any other publicly offered savings on select Seabourn sailings and suite categories throughout the year. These savings are available to guests who have sailed with Seabourn and have at least one sailed day and one Seabourn Club point associated with their Club member number.

Club members are encouraged to book early, as new Seabourn Club Savings may be offered on sailings for a limited time, while savings amounts can vary and are applicable on select sailings and suite categories. For guests sailing on their first Seabourn cruise, the line will extend Club Savings to a future cruise booking provided they chose an eligible sailing.

Seabourn Club Referral Rewards
Seabourn is launching the NEW Seabourn Club Referral Rewards program, offering both the referring Club member and the first-time guest shipboard credits of $250USD per suite that can be combined with other Seabourn shipboard credit promotions. Even more enticing, all Seabourn Club members can now redeem up to two referral rewards on a single booking for a total reward of $500USD per suite

The referral process has also been updated and improved, with a new online system for registration, referrals and rewards redemptions. For more information about the new Seabourn Club Referral Rewards program, visit the Seabourn website.

Special Savings Opportunity for World Cruise Guests
As if all of the benefits above weren't enough for returning guests, Seabourn has a special offer for round-the-would cruisers. Guests who have a valid booking on the line's full 146-day World Cruise: Extraordinary Destinations aboard Seabourn Sojourn in January 2020 will be eligible for an additional five percent discount when booking the full 140-day World Cruise: Extraordinary Oceans scheduled for departure in January 2021. Now that's something for returning guests to look forward to from every angle!

NCL Announces Strategic Initiatives To Strengthen Position In Alaska Cruise Market
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., a leading global cruise company operating the Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises brands, today announced strategic initiatives that further strengthen its position in the fast growing, popular Alaska cruise market. The Company recently entered into a 30-year preferential berthing agreement with Ward Cove Dock Group, LLC. This agreement allows for construction of a new double ship pier in Ward Cove, Ketchikan, Alaska. The pier will be built to simultaneously accommodate two of Norwegian Cruise Line’s 4,000 passenger Breakaway Plus class ships and is expected to be ready for the summer 2020 season. In addition, the Company recently won a competitive bid for the last waterfront parcel in greater Juneau, Alaska and is engaging local stakeholders, including government, business and community leaders to develop a plan which will benefit both the city and its various stakeholders and the Company. These investments follow the Company’s announcement earlier this year of its partnership with Alaska Native-owned Huna Totem Corporation to develop a second cruise pier in Icy Strait Point, Huna Totem’s world-class cruise ship destination in Hoonah, Alaska.

“The natural beauty of Alaska makes it one of the most popular destinations to visit, and our investments in the region will enable us to provide our guests with a best-in-class experience as they explore the wonders of the Last Frontier,” said Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. “These strategic initiatives mark the latest steps in our ongoing efforts to promote economic development in the region and make a positive economic and environmentally sensible impact on the Alaska tourism industry.”

The Icy Strait Point development will provide more cruise passengers with access to Icy Strait’s newly upgraded retail, restaurant and shore excursion amenities, including the world’s longest ZipRider zip line, the most accessible coastal brown bear viewing platforms in Southeast Alaska, whale watching and fishing excursions. Scheduled for completion prior to the summer 2020 Alaska cruise season, the pier will be built to accommodate Norwegian Cruise Line’s Breakaway Plus class ships. The partnership will provide the three Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings’ brands with preferential berthing rights in this popular port destination and allow the Company’s ships to increase calls to Icy Strait Point.

The new Wilderness Landing will cater to visitors in search of individualized experiences with the land, wildlife and native peoples of Alaska. As part of the expansion, Huna Totem Corporation is installing two gondolas and developing the upper part of Hoonah Mountain near its ZipRider attraction to offer additional experiences for visitors in 2020. To elevate the experience and maintain its natural setting, the Wilderness Landing will be a vehicle-free zone. Instead of needing an estimated 72 buses to move guests around the site, travelers will be able to move through the treetops between the Historic Cannery and Wilderness Landing on the Transporter, a high-speed gondola system installed by the world’s premiere lift manufacturer, Doppelmayr Lift Systems. The gondola is wheelchair and scooter accessible and capable of moving more than 5,600 visitors per hour in eight-person cabins.

Opening a few months later in mid-summer, a second gondola will take guests up the 1,600-foot Hoonah Mountain to the forested area around the ZipRider launch. The six-minute ride will unlock additional areas for exploration and afford spectacular views of icefields, the Fairweather Range and Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, the ancestral homeland of the Huna Tlingit people. The mountain’s cliffs and rock formations naturally invite Alaska-sized adventure. Huna Totem Corporation will develop the wilderness expanse with new attractions for guests: a network of walking trails; a 340-foot suspension bridge swaying over a box-canyon with a 900-foot vertical drop; and a tour departure center for bear searches, ATV adventures, helicopter flightseeing and more will be added during the 2021 season. Guests may also enjoy an extended, top-of-the-mountain nature trail loop around a glacially carved reflecting pond.

In addition to its development initiatives in Alaska, the Company was awarded a much sought-after concession contract through 2029 allowing Norwegian Cruise Line to operate cruises within Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. Contracts were granted based on a competitive bid process which focused on various factors and environmental commitments such as air emissions, waste and wildlife protection. This contract went into effect October 1 and will enable the Company to provide premier Alaskan itinerary offerings to its guests as the spectacular scenery and wildlife of Glacier Bay is a must-see destination for any Alaska cruise. Covering 3.3 million acres of rugged mountains, dynamic glaciers, temperate rainforest, wild coastlines and deep sheltered fjords, Glacier Bay National Park is a highlight of Alaska's Inside Passage and part of a 25-million-acre World Heritage Site—one of the world’s largest international protected areas. In addition to the spectacular sights, guests will also enjoy hearing from Cultural Heritage Guides which will accompany each voyage that sails into Glacier Bay as part of the Company’s partnership with Alaska Native Voices.

Previous investments in the region include a groundbreaking 15-year agreement with the Port of Seattle to collectively invest $30 million to upgrade the Pier 66 facilities to further enhance the overall guest experience. This investment was made in advance of the 2018 launch of Norwegian Bliss, which was designed with features and amenities for the ultimate Alaska cruising experience. The enhancements were designed to provide guests with the perfect send-off to start their Alaskan adventure and included the expansion of guest check-in space by 300% to more than 150,000 square feet, a new VIP lounge with expansive views of Elliott Bay and the addition of two new elevated passenger boarding bridges to provide easy and comfortable passenger boarding. Norwegian Cruise Line was the first cruise line to begin cruising to Alaska from Seattle in 2000.

While guests experience all the beauty Alaska has to offer, the Company will continue to minimize its environmental footprint while sailing these pristine waters as part of the Company’s Sail & Sustain Environmental Program which is its commitment to minimize waste to landfills, reduce its CO2 emissions rate, increase sustainable sourcing and invest in emerging technologies such as hybrid exhaust gas cleaning systems, which can be operated in a closed-loop setting. In 2017, the Company partnered with the Alaska Raptor Center (ARC), an avian hospital and rehabilitation center located in Sitka, Alaska, to help reduce the center’s energy consumption and waste production by investing in energy efficient equipment and the expansion of its recycling program. In 2018, the Company continued efforts to help the center inspire visitors to protect the environment by funding an interpretive nature trail on ARC’s 17-acre conservation property with the aim of connecting people to the natural environment through educational recreation and to enrich their experience as they learn more about the ecology of Southeast Alaska.

MSC Cruises Welcomes MSC Meraviglia To Her New Homeport In Miami
MSC Meraviglia — MSC Cruises' first Meraviglia Class smart ship — debuted in North America last month and, on Sunday, November 10, made her inaugural visit to Miami, her new homeport for her first winter season in the region. With a double occupancy capacity of 4,488 and gross tonnage of 171,598 GRT, MSC Meraviglia is MSC Cruises' largest ship sailing from the U.S., offering guests a completely distinct cruise experience.

"Since MSC Meraviglia arrived in the U.S. in October, we've seen tremendous excitement and buzz from our travel advisor partners and guests," said said Ken Muskat, EVP and Chief Operating Officer of MSC Cruises USA. "We are thrilled that MSC Meraviglia will now be part of the beautiful Miami skyline, joining MSC Seaside, MSC Armonia and MSC Divina. Due to significant demand, this is the first time MSC Cruises' has four distinct ships sailing the region, all offering an enriching experience inspired by our European heritage, while providing our guests even more choice and variety to best fit their vacation needs."

"We are grateful to our partners at MSC Cruises for their trust and commitment to growing their business in Miami-Dade County," said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Giménez. "We welcome the MSC Meraviglia to the Cruise Capital of the World!"

"We welcome MSC Meraviglia with open arms," said Chairwoman of the Tourism and Ports Committee Rebeca Sosa. "We are very pleased the vessel will be joining MSC Cruises' line of cruise ships sailing out of PortMiami."

MSC Meraviglia's On Board Features

With a name meaning wonder, MSC Meraviglia boasts an innovative and glamorous design that showcases MSC Cruises' signature European style. The ship's two-story Mediterranean-style promenade, feauturing the longest LED Dome at sea, is lined with a variety of shops and specialty restaurants — including HOLA! Tapas Bar and Ocean Cay, restaurants by two Michelin-starred Spanish chef Ramón Freixa, and Jean-Philippe Chocolat & Café, an open fronted chocolate atelier by world-renowned pastry chef, Jean Philippe Maury.

Entertainment is available around-the-clock with enriching activities for all ages. In addition to six different full-scale theatrical productions every night in the main theater, guests are also able to enjoy two distinct Cirque du Soleil at Sea shows, VIAGGIO and SONOR — created exclusively for MSC Meraviglia in a purpose-built entertainment and dining venue, the Carousel Lounge. Immersive kids and family programs include a winter-themed aqua park with four water slides, a Himalayan bridge suspending cruisers high up above the ship, an interactive XD cinema, two full size bowling lanes and multiple LEGO-designed kids clubs.

Those looking for exclusivity and privacy – while still enjoying all the amenities and choice offered on a larger ship – can book their stay within the MSC Yacht Club, MSC Cruises' all-inclusive 'ship-within-a-ship' concept, featuring private amenities and 24-hour butler service.

Launched in June 2017, MSC Meraviglia was MSC Cruises first next-generation innovative ship to feature MSC for Me, a multi-channel digital program designed to help guests get the most out of their vacation. By simply using an app, interactive displays and in-stateroom TV, guests are able to effortlessly book services, find information, plan activities, stay connected with friends and family and easily navigate around the ship.

MSC Meraviglia North American Itineraries and Experiences Ashore

Designed to sail in all seasons and climates, the glamorous MSC Meraviglia began her North American journey with three sailings from NYC, including two itineraries to New England and Canada and one repositioning to her new homeport in Miami.

From November 10, 2019 through April 5, 2020, MSC Meraviglia will sail two different 7-night western Caribbean itineraries visiting ports in Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, Mexico, Belize, Honduras and The Bahamas.

Following her inaugural season in Miami, MSC Meraviglia will return to Northern Europe for summer 2020 (April – October). Upon returning to the U.S. in October 2020, MSC Meraviglia will once again do three 10-night sailings from New York to Canada & New England before then homeporting back in Miami for 7-night Caribbean sailings.

Carnival Cruise Line Selects PepsiCo as Preferred Beverage Partner
PepsiCo, Inc. is partnering with Carnival Cruise Line to become the preferred beverage partner for its North American fleet. Beginning in January 2020, Carnival Cruise Line will begin serving a variety of beverages from the PepsiCo portfolio featuring premiere brands from Starbucks ready to drink coffee to fast-growing bubly sparkling water. When the transition is complete, Carnival guests will have a broad selection of beverage choices, from iced tea, sparkling water, coffee drinks and sports drinks to juices and soft drinks, including an array of low calorie and no sugar options.

"At Carnival Cruise Line, we invite our guests to Choose Fun, and now with PepsiCo's extensive portfolio of brands, we're able to give them more ways to choose a beverage that suits their taste, mood and preference," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "PepsiCo's line-up of beverages will give our guests access to leading brands in growing non-soda categories like iced tea, juice and sparkling water, as well as popular soft drink brands that consumers love. We're also excited to work with PepsiCo on our shared commitment to sustainability, including a reduced reliance on plastics, and alternative ways to deliver and serve water and other beverages."

As they cruise, Carnival Cruise Line guests will be able to enjoy some of their favorite PepsiCo brands such as bubly, Pure Leaf, Naked Juice, Gatorade, MTN Dew, Starbucks, Pepsi, Pepsi Zero Sugar, Sierra Mist and Sierra Mist Zero Sugar among others.

"Our brands both celebrate having fun and offering something special for everyone, making PepsiCo and Carnival Cruise Line a great match," said Anne Fink, president of PepsiCo Global Foodservice. "We're excited to share the voyage as we create enjoyable, seamless experiences for Carnival Cruise Line passengers while they enjoy their fun vacations at sea and ashore."

As "The World's Most Popular Cruise Line," Carnival Cruise Line annually sails more than 5.2 million guests Its fleet of 26 ships will grow to 28 with the delivery of Carnival Panorama in December 2019 and Mardi Gras in August 2020.

Carnival Corporation Announces New Hires and Promotions in Ethics and Compliance Function
Carnival Corporation today announced seven new hires and internal promotions as part of the development of its new companywide ethics and compliance function, first announced in August 2019 and led by Peter Anderson, chief ethics and compliance officer.

The additions include three new corporate compliance leaders reporting directly to Anderson, who is building an extensive ethics and compliance program to drive a culture of compliance, learning and integrity inside the corporation and across its nine global cruise line brands. More specifically, the goal is to meet or exceed all legal and statutory requirements and promote the highest ethical principles.

"This new team underscores our commitment to ethics, compliance, the environment and health, safety and security," said Anderson. "We are in the process of developing a world-class, enduring culture of compliance among every one of our 150,000 employees. Compliance and ethics is at the heart of everything we do. The leadership, experience and passion of this very talented and determined team will play an instrumental role in our mission."

To promote full integration and teamwork around ethics and compliance throughout the entire corporation, these leaders will also work closely with other newly-selected leaders who are based within the various operating companies.

The ethics and compliance team leaders include the following personnel and positions:

Kelly Clark – Senior Vice President, Deputy Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer
The deputy chief ethics and compliance officer will support the overall implementation of the ethics and compliance program with primary responsibility for interacting with the company's cruise line brands to maintain open communications, as well as monitor local program implementation.

In this capacity, Clark will also prioritize the ethics-focused elements of the ethics and compliance program, working across functional lines to understand and support existing program processes. She will also advocate for new systems and processes to improve program oversight, and will be responsible for spearheading other important program initiatives.

Under Clark's stewardship, Holland America Line and Seabourn – two Carnival Corporation brands currently organized under Holland America Group – have received Ethics Inside Certification since 2011 from Ethisphere, the provider of independent verification of corporate ethics and compliance programs. Ethisphere awards Ethics Inside Certification exclusively to companies that demonstrate the existence of a superior employee and leadership culture that promotes ethical business practices. Ethisphere also recognized Holland America Line to its World's Most Ethical Companies list for five consecutive years, from 2011 to 2015.

Clark previously served in various roles for Holland America Group, including as vice president, counsel and special advisor to the CEO; chief ethics officer and general counsel; and senior vice president, safety, environmental and regulatory services. She also worked as general counsel and chief ethics officer for Holland America Line and Seabourn.

Chris Donald – Senior Vice President, Environmental Corporate Compliance Manager
The environmental corporate compliance manager oversees and implements all legal obligations in Carnival Corporation's Environmental Compliance Plan (ECP) as well as works with the independent parties conducting oversight and analysis of this plan. In addition to leading the environmental efforts within the brands, Donald is responsible for:

• driving improvements in waste management, technology and design (including food waste).

• establishing, monitoring and assessing key performance indicators for environmental compliance.

• overseeing the Environmental Officers who provide onboard environmental compliance oversight on all of the company's ships.

• driving and evolving the company's Operation Oceans Alive program designed to foster a culture of compliance, learning and ocean stewardship.

Since joining Carnival Corporation in 2007, Donald has held a number of key positions that will help him carry out his increased responsibilities. More specifically, he has previously supported the company's policy development, internal audits and investigations. Prior to his role in environmental compliance, he was also corporate senior director, safety and occupational safety, and led the company's Engine Room Fire Risk Mitigation program, which included the design and rollout of extensive upgrades to fire detection and suppression systems across the company's global fleet.

Gerry Ellis – Vice President, Health, Safety and Security Corporate Compliance Manager
The Health, Safety and Security (HSS) corporate compliance manager must ensure the regulatory compliance and effectiveness of the company's global HSS programs, as well as monitor the Maritime Policy and Analysis department to maintain compliance with applicable HSS-related policies and procedures.

Ellis has more than 40 years of industry experience, including over 23 years with Carnival Corporation. He served at sea for 18 years in a range of positions from deck cadet to captain on a variety of ships, including tankers, container ships, ferries, private yachts and cruise ships, in addition to shoreside management positions, including maritime investigations director, marine operations manager, port operations manager, director of port development, director of compliance, director of shipbuilding and design, director of safety policy; and vice president, marine and technical operations.

Martha de Zayas – Vice President, General Corporate Compliance Manager
Among the three corporate compliance managers, this position has the broadest range of compliance topics to oversee, including:

• codes of conduct, anti-corruption, anti-trust and anti-retaliation.

• conflicts of interest, third-party due diligence screening and economic sanctions/Office of Foreign Asset Control screening.

• North America data privacy and records retention.

• Americans with Disabilities Act shoreside and shipboard programs.

• the corporate Compliance Reporting Hotline program.

De Zayas joined Carnival Corporation in 1995 as associate general counsel, managing commercial and employee-related litigation. Since March 2018, she has served as vice president of ethics and compliance.

Sandra Rowlett – Vice President, Incident Analysis Group Investigations Leader
As the Incident Analysis Group investigations leader, Rowlett is responsible for all efforts to investigate certain Health, Environment, Safety and Security (HESS) issues – including near misses – independently of the brands. She also manages the recently expanded team of nine investigators, and assists in improving the investigative functions throughout the entire organization.

For 28 years, Rowlett held various positions within the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), including air traffic control investigator and senior executive with oversight of aviation, railroad, pipeline and hazardous materials investigations. Before joining the NTSB, Rowlett was an air traffic controller for Los Angeles International Airport and the United States Air Force. She reports to Ellis.

H Jordan Weitz – Senior Director, Compliance Risk Management Leader
As the Compliance Risk Management leader, Weitz is responsible for developing a more proactive and strategic focus to the company's compliance programs grounded in data analytics, metrics and compliance risk assessments. Weitz has more than 20 years of experience, including 17 years in the cruise industry, covering all aspects of risk management including processes, risks, controls, audits, investigations, digital forensics and proactive analytics. He is also a certified fraud examiner. Weitz reports to Clark. Brigett Potts – Director, Compliance Training Leader
As the Compliance Training leader, Potts is responsible for reviewing and summarizing all current compliance training relating to the areas within the ethics and compliance function and program to: develop a corporate compliance training strategy and plan. measure training effectiveness. introduce new and innovative compliance training tools. implement basic ethics and compliance training for all employees. Potts joined Carnival Cruise Line in 2017 as the Environmental Regulatory and Operating Line Training Manager (OLTM). In October 2018, she became chairperson of the OLTM group, where her leadership exemplified a passion for training as she led process change across the organization. Prior to joining Carnival Cruise Line, she was an associate attorney handling cases in both federal and state courts. She reports to Donald.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 44.68 + 1.06%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 113.94 + 0.58%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.85 - 2.30%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 51.92 - 0.71%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
From the late 1800's until the Queen Mary entered service in 1936 the names of almost all of Cunard's fleet ended in a distinctive manner. How did they end and what was the significance of the ending?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
What was the name of the first ocean liner (over 20,000 tons) to have her engines and funnel located far aft?

Answer - The SS Southern Cross, at 20,204gt, was the first engines and funnel aft passenger liner. Launched by Queen Elizabeth II and entered service in 1955. Followed by the larger Northern Star and Holme Lines Oceanic
courtesy of Malcolm Scanlan


Cruise News - November 4, 2019

Norwegian Cruise Line Takes Delivery of Norwegian Encore
Norwegian Cruise Line, the innovator in global cruise travel, today took delivery of its newest ship, Norwegian Encore, in Bremerhaven, Germany.

This highly anticipated milestone begins a nearly month-long tour with preview events scheduled in Europe, New York and Miami, including the ship's naming ceremony on Nov. 21, 2019. In attendance were Norwegian Cruise Line and Meyer Werft executives.

Norwegian Cruise Line takes delivery of Norwegian Encore from Meyer Werft in Bremerhaven, Germany. (From left to right: Yard Captain Wolfgang Thos of Meyer Werft; Captain Niklas Persson of Norwegian Encore; Tim Meyer, managing director of Meyer Werft; Andy Stuart, president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line; and Harry Sommer, incoming president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line) "Today we celebrate the delivery of our 17th ship and the close of our history-making Breakaway Plus class – a feat that was made possible through a special collaboration with our partners at Meyer Werft," said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. "Our dedication to creating next-level offerings on board, will allow us to continue to deliver meaningful experiences for our guests, when Norwegian Encore arrives home to Miami."

The nearly 1,100-foot-long Norwegian Encore, with a gross tonnage of almost 170,000 and a guest capacity of nearly 4,000, will embark on her first preview cruise from Bremerhaven, Germany on Oct.31, arriving to Southampton, England on Nov. 2. During the two-day voyage, guests will enjoy the Company's newest offerings including the largest and most exciting race track in the industry, the new Onda by Scarpetta, enhanced Galaxy Pavilion and open-air laser tag attractions, and the at-sea debut of the Tony Award-winning Kinky Boots.

"We're happy to deliver another world-class ship to Norwegian Cruise Line," said Tim Meyer, managing director of Meyer Werft. "We are extremely proud of our partnership of over 16 years and honored to have been part of Norwegian Cruise Line's most successful class of ships. We are confident that Norwegian Encore will continue the Company's legacy of exceeding the expectations of its guests."

On Nov. 2, Norwegian Encore will commence her transatlantic voyage to the U.S., arriving to New York on Nov. 10 with a two-day preview scheduled from Nov. 11 to 13. She will then voyage to Miami for a series of events, concluding with the christening ceremony and celebration on Nov. 21, which includes a live performance by Norwegian Encore's godmother and Grammy Award-winning singer and television host Kelly Clarkson.

Taking the brand's exclusive, stand-out attractions to the next level, Norwegian Encore will feature the world's longest race track at sea at 1,100 feet with four high-speed curves extending up to 13 feet over the side of the ship; the largest outdoor laser tag arena at nearly 10,000 square feet with the addition of augmented reality elements; and new immersive escape room and interactive theatre experiences in the 10,000-square-foot Galaxy Pavilion.

In addition to featuring many of the highly rated restaurants and lounges that have made the Breakaway Plus class one of the most innovative and successful in the Company's history, Norwegian Encore will debut a new elevated Italian dining experience, Onda by Scarpetta, in collaboration with LDV Hospitality. The Tony Award-winning musical, "Kinky Boots" will headline the world-class entertainment on board, with returning guest favorites "The Choir of Man," "Happy Hour Prohibition: The Musical" and the rocking Beatles cover band of The Cavern Club.

As part of a recent partnership with JUST Goods, Inc., Norwegian Encore will be the first ship in the Company to be plastic bottle free when she debuts. By Jan. 1, 2020 Norwegian Cruise Line will be the first major cruise line to eliminate plastic bottles across its entire fleet, a significant effort towards providing guests with more sustainable options at sea.

Launching this fall, Norwegian Encore will offer seven-day voyages to the Eastern Caribbean from Miami beginning Nov. 24, 2019; Bermuda, and Canada and New England itineraries from New York City beginning Apr. 22, 2020; and voyages to the Western Caribbean from Miami beginning Dec. 12, 2020. In the spring of 2021, she will make her West Coast debut and sail to Alaska from Seattle.

Carnival Sunrise Arrives In Fort Lauderdale
The totally transformed Carnival Sunrise arrived in her new homeport of Fort Lauderdale today to launch a schedule of four- and five-day Caribbean and Bahamas cruises from Port Everglades.

Today’s voyage – a sold-out five-day cruise to Ocho Rios and Grand Cayman – marks the first of nearly 40 departures from Fort Lauderdale through May 2, 2020.

The ship’s inaugural call at Port Everglades was marked with a traditional maritime plaque exchange with port and government officials, as well as a reception and lunch for local dignitaries and travel agents.

Carnival Sunrise debuted earlier this year following an extensive $200 million renovation that is part of a fleetwide $2 billion ship enhancement program.

“We are pleased to bring Carnival Sunrise to Port Everglades, providing our guests with more options in sailing from South Florida,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “Since debuting earlier this year, the ship has received rave reviews from our guests offering exciting enhancements and the amazing service that our crew always deliver.”

New features on Carnival Sunrise include:

• Casual F&B options: Poolside venues like Guy’s Burger Joint and Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse, in collaboration with Food Network star and longtime partner Guy Fieri, BlueIguana Cantina & Tequila Bar, RedFrog Rum Bar, as well as upgrades to the Lido Marketplace, an expanded ice cream station, the Java Blue coffee bar and 24-hour Pizzeria del Capitano.

• Specialty dining: The Chef’s Table fine dining experience, the pharmacy-themed Alchemy Bar, as well as Italian, sushi and seafood options.

• Shopping and Personal Care: A Cherry on Top sweet shop, Pixels photo gallery, expanded retail outlets and renovated fitness and spa facilities.

• Outdoor Decks and Attractions: A new water park with slides and a kiddie splash zone, a Serenity adults-only retreat, and a SportSquare recreation area with ropes course and mini golf.

• Youth & Family Entertainment: Dedicated Camp Ocean, Circle “C” and Club O2 facilities hosting supervised children’s programming for kids 2-17, as well as an arcade.

• Theater & Live Entertainment: The Punchliner Comedy Club in the new Limelight Lounge, Playlist Productions shows in the Liquid Lounge, live entertainment, deck parties, onboard programming and the popular sing-along piano bar.

• Staterooms and Suites: Two redesigned Captain’s Suites and updates to all staterooms. Carnival Sunrise’s Fort Lauderdale-based schedule includes four- and five-day cruises beginning Oct. 28, 2019. Four-day “long weekend” cruises will call at tropical ports like Half Moon Cay, Princess Cays, Grand Turk and Nassau, while five-day cruises will visit seaside destinations in The Bahamas, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Dominican Republic and Grand Turk. Following her Fort Lauderdale-based schedule, in May 2020, Carnival Sunrise will return to Norfolk and New York for the summer to offer a wide variety of four- to twelve-day cruises including wide-ranging destinations. These cruises include five- and six-day cruises to The Bahamas from Norfolk as well as four-day “long weekend” cruises to Bermuda, and eight- to twelve-day cruises to The Bahamas, Caribbean, Bermuda, Costa Rica and Panama Canal from New York.

Disney Cruise Line Announces Three New LNG Ships
As previously announced in 2016 and 2017, Disney Cruise Line is building three additional cruise ships, each of them showcasing the immersive family entertainment, enchanting storytelling and unparalleled service that only Disney can deliver.

The ships will be built at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany.

“We pride ourselves on the unforgettable vacation experiences we deliver to our guests each and every day, and the expansion of our Disney fleet will allow us to create even more magical memories for families at sea and in incredible cruise destinations around the world,” said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company.

The three new ships will be powered by liquefied natural gas and, at approximately 144,000 gross tons and 1,250 guest staterooms, will be slightly larger than the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy.

First Details on Newest Ship

Disney Cruise Line revealed the highly anticipated name of the fifth Disney Cruise Line ship, the Disney Wish, as well as a first look at the ship’s elegant, three-story atrium and the iconic Disney character that will adorn the ship’s stern.

The Disney Wish is scheduled for delivery in late 2021 and is expected to set sail beginning in January 2022.

“There couldn’t be a better name for our incredible new ship because making wishes come true is part of the Disney DNA and is at the heart of so many of our cherished stories,” said Bob Chapek, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.

A new rendering reveals a first look at the ship’s bright and airy three-story atrium, inspired by the beauty of an enchanted fairytale.

Stern characters – a beloved hallmark of Disney Cruise Line vessels – have been a tradition of the Disney fleet since the beginning and reflect the theme of each ship. For the Disney Wish, the ship’s stern will feature Rapunzel. Spirited, smart, curious and above all, adventurous, Rapunzel embodies the wish and desire to see and experience the world.

“Each Disney Cruise Line ship is unique, with a name that embodies the excitement of sailing with Disney and the power of our stories. The new ships will have the experiences our guests love, as well as all-new magic,” Chapek added.

Royal Caribbean Introduces Royal Beach Club
Royal Caribbean International has announced its newest mission: delivering the ultimate beach day.

The company said its first Royal Beach Club will launch in Antigua, along a half-mile of beachfront near Fort James. The company signed a memorandum of understanding with the government of Antigua and Barbuda for the project, which is scheduled to open in 2021.

Built for Royal Caribbean International guests, The Royal Beach Club at Fort James will combine the island’s striking beaches with the cruise line’s signature service and amenities.

Curated as the ultimate beach experience, the Royal Beach Club Collection will bring the unique features and flavors of each destination to life. In Antigua, guests can take in the island’s exceptional views from private cabanas or plunge into a stunning pool and swim up to the bar to order a classic rum punch.

“The Royal Beach Club Collection is an adventure we cannot wait to reveal to our guests,” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “We have incredible partners in the government of Antigua and Barbuda to bring the first of our collection to life. Together, we are designing an experience that will bring more visitors to these idyllic islands and will create significant economic benefits and opportunities for local employment for years to come.”

The Honorable Charles Fernandez, Minister of Tourism, Economic Development and Investments, Government of Antigua and Barbuda, said: “The government of Antigua and Barbuda welcomes this multimillion-dollar investment into our tourism product by Royal Caribbean. The economic impact into our economy is projected to be approximately $80 million USD from direct revenue to the Government over the next 30 years and over $1 billion USD in indirect revenue during the same period.”

Fernandez continued: “The project will also provide meaningful employment to Antiguans and Barbudans for both the construction phase and the operations of the project for years to come. We are truly grateful and appreciative that Royal Caribbean’s first Royal Beach Club will be in Antigua, which confirms confidence in our twin island state.”

The Royal Beach Club concept builds on the remarkable success of Royal Caribbean’s new Perfect Day at CocoCay in the Bahamas but will be a distinctly different experience for guests. “With Royal Beach Club, we’re starting with a great day at a beautiful beach, and adding even more services and activities,” Bayley said. “Each location will feature local food and music, family activities and custom attractions to give everyone plenty of options on how to spend their day by the ocean.”

Though Royal does not expect to release specific designs for the Antigua destination for several months, the company expects to offer regional fare, island-style BBQs and live music, along with unforgettable experiences, including such thrills as wave runners, paddle boarding, snorkeling, a family splash pad and stunning pool with swim-up bar.

Cruise tourism is growing globally, with an anticipated 50% growth in the Caribbean over the next decade. Through land-based destinations, such as Royal Caribbean’s recently announced Perfect Day Lelepa in the South Pacific, and the new Royal Beach Club concept, the company is supporting its expanding fleet of award-winning, innovative ships.

Carnival Cruise Line to Increase Capacity in Alaska with Carnival Freedom Sailing from Seattle in 2021
Carnival Cruise Line will increase its presence in Alaska, deploying Carnival Freedom from Seattle beginning in April 2021, operating Carnival’s popular week-long Glacier Route voyages, and joining Carnival Miracle which will operate 10- and 11-day Alaska cruises from San Francisco beginning in May 2021.

“Alaska is a ‘bucket list’ destination that offers a unique combination of fascinating wildlife and unique cultural and sightseeing opportunities. We’re delighted to provide our guests with even more opportunities to Choose Fun as they experience and explore the beauty and majesty of Alaska,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.

Carnival Freedom’s Week-Long Alaska Voyages from Seattle Carnival Freedom will operate 21 Alaska cruises from the Port of Seattle April 27 to Sept. 22, 2021, departing every Tuesday. Port calls on the week-long Glacier Route voyages include Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan, as well as Victoria, B.C., and scenic cruising of Tracy Arm Fjord. There’s also an eight-day cruise featuring Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Icy Strait Point, Victoria and cruising Tracy Arm Fjord.

Carnival Freedom offers a wide range of onboard amenities, including dining venues ranging from casual choices like Bonsai Sushi Express and Guy’s Burger Joint developed in partnership with Food Network star Guy Fieri to an elegant reservations-only steakhouse, along with a luxurious spa and a spectacular WaterWorks aqua park. Hundreds of balcony staterooms and suites — perfect for watching the passing scenery — are available as well.

Prior to its Alaska program, Carnival Freedom will operate a 17-day Carnival Journeys Panama Canal cruise from Galveston to Seattle April 10-27, 2021, with stops in Colombia, Costa Rica and Mexico. Following its summer in Alaska, Carnival Freedom will reposition from Seattle to Fort Lauderdale with a 17-day Carnival Journeys Panama Canal sailing Sept. 22-Oct. 9, 2021, calling in Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Mexico before launching a winter schedule of six- and eight-day eastern and southern Caribbean cruises beginning Oct. 9, 2021.

Carnival Miracle’s Two- to 16-Day Voyages from San Francisco and San Diego Carnival Miracle, which launches Carnival’s first-ever service from San Francisco in March 2020, will return to San Francisco in 2021 to operate a summer schedule of 10- and 11-day Alaska cruises that visit some of the region’s most beautiful and popular ports. Ten-day cruises call at Juneau, Skagway, and Icy Strait Point or Ketchikan, Victoria, and scenic cruising of Tracy Arm while the 11-day cruises include calls in both Icy Strait Point and Ketchikan. The ship will also operate a series of 16-day Carnival Journeys Hawaii cruises. The program also includes unique four-day long weekend cruises to Ensenada.

Carnival Miracle will also sail from San Diego in 2021-22 offering two- to six-day voyages visiting a variety of destinations in Mexico and Baja California, including Ensenada, Catalina Island, and Cabo San Lucas, as well as series of 15-day Carnival Journeys cruises to Hawaii. Carnival Miracle’s San Diego-based schedule runs from Oct. 3, 2021 to April 18, 2022.

George Takei to Headline Queen Mary 2's Holiday Voyage
Actor, author and activist George Takei will headline the holiday voyage on Cunard’s flagship liner Queen Mary 2 as part of the luxury cruise line’s renowned Insights program, December 22, 2019 - Jan 3, 2020.

While sailing on the 12-night Caribbean Celebration voyage, roundtrip out of New York, George will be offering two presentations, a Q&A, and a book signing for guests. His first talk will focus on American history and his childhood spent in a Japanese American internment camp during WWII. In his second lecture, George will discuss his favorite Hollywood moments and behind-the-scenes anecdotes with some of his famous friends such as Tom Hanks, Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball, Cary Grant, Brad Pitt, Howard Stern, Leonard Nimoy, Patrick Stewart and Jane Fonda.

“I am looking forward to spending the holidays onboard the magnificent ocean liner Queen Mary 2 this December,” Takei said. “I have sailed on this ship before – the staff go above and beyond to make every day memorable and the guests are engaging and interested to hear about my life and work. I have no doubt this will be another exceptional experience.”

An internationally beloved figure, George is most notably known for his role as Hikaru Sulu, helmsman of the USS Enterprise, in the acclaimed TV series Star Trek. His acting career has spanned six decades including appearances on the TV series Fresh Off the Boat, Hawaii Five-0, The New Normal, The Big Bang Theory, Heroes, Will & Grace, Miami Vice, MacGyver, The Six Million Dollar Man, Mission: Impossible and The Twilight Zone, among others.

Takei is the author of five books, including his autobiography To the Stars, and his latest graphic memoir, the New York Times bestseller They Called Us Enemy, which debuted in July 2019. He first sailed with Cunard as an Insights speaker in 2014 when Queen Mary 2 screened the documentary “To be Takei,” about his journey from imprisoned child to pop culture icon.

George is an activist for LGBTQ rights, marriage equality, and has won several awards and accolades for his work on human rights and Japan-U.S. relations, including his work with the Japanese American National Museum, where he is chairman emeritus and a trustee. He was appointed to the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission by former President Clinton and the government of Japan awarded Takei the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette, for his contribution to U.S-Japan relations.

“It’s been said that George Takei is arguably one of the most recognizable Asian-American figures alive, and we are thrilled to welcome him back on our flagship Queen Mary 2’s holiday voyage,” said Josh Leibowitz, SVP Cunard North America. “Our guests will relish the opportunity to learn from George about his life – his struggles and successes – in an exclusive experience, continuing Cunard’s legacy of hosting ‘Stars Aboard.’”

Cunard’s onboard Insights program offers guests an unmatched opportunity to learn from and mingle with captivating experts from various industries on every voyage, holding lectures and Q&As throughout the trip. Recent speakers have included Alan Cumming, Keegan-Michael Key and John Landis. In addition, Cunard is offering extraordinary special event voyages in the remainder of 2019 and 2020 celebrating fashion, ancestry, astronomy, wine and more.

Disney Cruise Line to Provide Free Texting to Crew Members
Today, Disney Cruise Line announced it will provide complimentary texting to crew members onboard its ships, making it easier for shipboard teams to stay connected to their loved ones while working away from home.

"We recognize how important it is for our crew members to be able to stay in touch with their families and friends, and we're proud to provide this benefit," said Jeff Vahle, president of Disney Cruise Line. "This is another way Disney continues to provide a great crew experience for our shipboard teams."

Disney Cruise Line is the first major cruise line to provide this complimentary service. Crew members with iOS and Android devices will be able to send and receive text messages while onboard for free. The service will launch today onboard the Disney Magic and will be available fleet wide in the next few weeks.

Disney Cruise Line crew members represent more than 80 different nationalities. Crew members and Officers enjoy highly competitive benefits and employment advantages as well as ongoing training and development opportunities, as they sail aboard award-winning ships to the world's most celebrated destinations. Recognized as the top cruise line for families and a leader in hospitality and entertainment, Disney Cruise Line offers unique career opportunities for those seeking to grow, innovate and succeed with one of the world's most creative companies.

Since its launch in 1998, Disney Cruise Line has established itself as a leader in the cruise industry, providing a setting where families can reconnect, adults can recharge and children can experience all Disney has to offer. Disney Cruise Line features a fleet of four ships – the Disney Magic, Disney Wonder, Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy. Guests can sail out of ports around the world on exciting itineraries to the Caribbean, Bahamas, Hawaii, Alaska and Europe, among others.

Disney Cruise Line continues to expand its horizons, with new ships scheduled for delivery in 2021, 2022 and 2023. The name of the highly anticipated fifth Disney Cruise Line ship, Disney Wish, was recently announced along with the ship's featured stern characters – Rapunzel and her feisty sidekick Pascal. The Disney Wish is scheduled for delivery in late 2021 and will set sail in January 2022. All three new ships will be powered by liquefied natural gas and, at approximately 144,000 gross tons and 1,250 guest staterooms, be slightly larger than the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 44.21 - 0.27%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 113.28 + 0.96%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.87 - 1.14%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 52.29 + 0.77%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
What was the name of the first ocean liner (over 20,000 tons) to have her engines and funnel located far aft?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which ship was called ConOx for a short period of time in the early 1960's and why?

Answer - The Conox was originally TSS Fairstar (Fairstar, the Fun Ship), an Australian cruise ship operating out of Sydney for almost 25 years. She was originally built as the troopship Oxfordshire and later changed into the Fairstar for immigrant voyages and later still, cruising.
courtesy of Julius Crone, Mount Vernon, New York


Cruise News - October 28, 2019

Carnival Cruise Line Welcomes Carnival Panorama
With this week's delivery of Carnival Panorama at the Fincantieri shipyard in Marghera, Italy, Carnival Cruise Line officially welcomes its 27th ship and the third vessel in the popular Vista class. Carnival Panorama will now head to Long Beach, Calif. for its naming ceremony and inaugural sailing in December.

"Carnival Panorama is the 15th ship built by Fincantieri for Carnival Cruise Line and once again, the skill and hard work of hundreds of talented craftspeople are on display here aboard the beautiful Carnival Panorama," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "Our guests absolutely love Carnival Vista and Horizon and we are certain they are going to love their sister Carnival Panorama."

Carnival Panorama will launch year-round service from Long Beach, Calif., on Dec. 11, becoming the line's first new ship homeported on the West Coast in more than 20 years.

As the name implies, Carnival Panorama reflects design inspiration with more opportunities to connect with the sea. The ship features a number of innovations including the first Sky Zone trampoline park at sea as well as a first-in-fleet culinary studio where guests can participate in hands-on cooking classes, tastings and other food-related activities hosted by the ship's chefs.

Carnival Panorama also offers a variety of longtime guest favorites such as a massive WaterWorks aqua park, Sky Ride, the popular bike in the sky with breathtaking views, a suspended ropes course and dining venues like Bonsai Teppanyaki and Guy's Pig & Anchor Smokehouse Brewhouse with barbecue favorites from Food Network star and longtime Carnival partner Guy Fieri along with craft beers brewed on board.

A wide range of staterooms and suites are available as well, including spa staterooms with exclusive privileges at the luxurious Cloud 9 Spa, extra-spacious staterooms in Family Harbor and tropical-inspired Havana staterooms with access to a Cuban-themed bar and pool.

Norwegian Spirit To Undergo Over $100 Million Revitalization
Norwegian Cruise Line, the innovator in global cruise travel, today provided further detail about Norwegian Spirit's upcoming renovation as part of The Norwegian Edge program, which reaffirms the company's commitment to elevating the standard of excellence across the fleet.

Norwegian Spirit will enter dry dock in Marseille, France on Jan. 2, 2020 for an over $100 million revitalization. As part of the nearly 40-day renovation, the ship will emerge featuring 14 new venues, additional staterooms and an expanded Mandara Spa. New complimentary dining venues will be introduced including an additional main dining room, Taste; the 24-hour eatery, The Local Bar and Grill; the all-day dining outlet, Garden Café; the Great Outdoors Bar; and Waves Pool Bar. Making their debut are Bliss Ultra Lounge and Spinnaker Lounge, which features the Humidor Cigar Lounge. Splash Academy, the children's waterpark, will be replaced with the adults-only retreat Spice H2O, a daytime lounge featuring two new hot tubs and a dedicated bar, which transforms into an after-hours entertainment venue. Mandara Spa will double in size to nearly 7,000 square feet and include a relaxation area with heated loungers, a new Jacuzzi room, a sauna, steam room and water therapy experience. The expansion of Pulse Fitness Center will allow guests to begin or maintain their fitness routine while at sea. The ship will also debut contemporary hull art.

In addition, the Company is announcing the introduction of Onda by Scarpetta on board Norwegian Spirit, joining the portfolio of critically acclaimed Scarpetta restaurants in New York City and the Hamptons, N.Y.; Miami; Las Vegas; Philadelphia; Newport, R.I.; London; and aboard Norwegian Encore debuting this November. The name Scarpetta is derived from the Italian expression, 'fare la Scarpetta,' which means to savor a meal to the last bite. Onda, or 'wave' in Italian, will adapt the same ethos and bring the charm and effortless elegance of its urbane Scarpetta sister to the sea. Reaffirming the Company's commitment to providing elevated dining experiences across the fleet, guests will enjoy the rich and bold flavors the modern Italian restaurant will be known for, including a selection of beautifully prepared seafood.

Drawing inspiration from the brand's most recent and highly successful newbuilds, the updated elements on board Norwegian Spirit will take the guest experience to the next level.

"As we continue to introduce new innovative ships to our fleet, with Norwegian Encore making her debut next month, we are committed to ensuring that the experiences our guests have come to enjoy are available on even our most storied ships," said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer Norwegian Cruise Line. "We are excited to reinvigorate Norwegian Spirit so that she continues to provide lasting memories for guests as they sail to some of the most exotic destinations around the world."

With extended itineraries of eight to 24 days calling to some of the most desired destinations across three continents – Asia, Africa and Europe - Norwegian Spirit will emerge from Marseille featuring more elevated and sophisticated offerings.

Norwegian Spirit will sail out of dry dock in February 2020 to offer some of the most sought-after itineraries around the world including 10 new ports of call. She will be the first in the Company's fleet to visit Bali (Celun Bawang), Jakarta and Surabaya, Indonesia; Beppu, Kumamoto, Nagoya and Tokyo, Japan; Taipei (Keelung) Taiwan; and Yangon, Myanmar. Following two, 20-day exotic expeditions exploring Greece, Israel, Egypt and Abu Dhabi from Rome (Civitavecchia); and Seychelles, Madagascar and South Africa from Dubai; she will offer a series of destination-rich voyages to Southeast Asia, China and Japan from Singapore; Hong Kong, China; and Tokyo and Yokohama, Japan through 2020.

Royal Caribbean Reports Record Third Quarter Earnings
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. today reported record third quarter US GAAP earnings of $4.20 per share and adjusted earnings of $4.27 per share which include a $0.13 negative impact from Hurricane Dorian. Royal Caribbean also updated its full year Adjusted EPS guidance to a range of $9.50 to $9.55 per share, which includes a negative impact of approximately $0.15 per share from Hurricane Dorian.

"Our business continues to thrive and exceed our expectations," said Richard D. Fain, chairman and CEO. "While Hurricane Dorian had a negative impact, stronger demand for our brands and our key itineraries exceeded our expectations. Excluding the hurricane impact, we are not only able to maintain our yield and earnings guidance, but to raise both slightly as a result of particularly strong performance in the US and China."

Hurricane Impact

Hurricane Dorian had an unusual, one-time impact on our financial performance. Three main Florida embarkation ports closed on a weekend as a precautionary measure. These measures impacted 16 sailings and made this the most disruptive storm in Royal Caribbean's history. The financial impact was particularly large because the affected ships included our very successful Oasis-class, because we closed Perfect Day at Cococay for 10 days, and because of our extensive relief efforts. The combination of guest compensation, the closure of Perfect Day at Cococay and the relief efforts negatively impacted the third quarter by $27 million or $0.13 per share and the full year by approximately $30 million or $0.15 per share.

THIRD QUARTER 2019

US GAAP Net Income for the third quarter of 2019 was $883.2 million or $4.20 per share and Adjusted Net Income was $896.8 million or $4.27 per share. These results include the negative impact of $27 million or $0.13 per share from itinerary disruptions and relief efforts related to Hurricane Dorian. Last year, US GAAP Net Income was $810.4 million or $3.86 per share, and Adjusted Net Income was $836.3 million or $3.98 per share.

Gross Yields were up 6.6% and Net Yields were up 6.4% in Constant-Currency, slightly better than guidance when considering the impact of the hurricane which reduced revenue by $21 million and slightly reduced yields.

Gross Cruise Costs per APCD increased 7.5% in Constant-Currency. NCC excluding Fuel per APCD were up 11.0% in Constant-Currency. The reduction in capacity and relief efforts related to the hurricane negatively impacted this metric by 150 basis points. Absolute costs for the quarter were significantly better than expected, due to timing.

Bunker pricing net of hedging for the third quarter was $469.93 per metric ton and consumption was 379,600 metric tons.

FULL YEAR 2019 OUTLOOK

Royal Caribbean said tht it expects full year Adjusted EPS to be in the range of $9.50 to $9.55 per share. This range includes the negative impact of approximately $0.15 per share from Hurricane Dorian. Excluding this impact, we are increasing the midpoint of our guidance by $0.08 per share.

Royal Caribbean said tht it expects a Net Yield increase of approximately 8.0% in Constant-Currency and approximately 6.75% As-Reported. Royal Caribbean's booking strength has completely offset the negative yield impact related to Hurricane Dorian.

NCC excluding Fuel per APCD are expected to be up approximately 11.0% in Constant-Currency and up approximately 10.5% As-Reported. The increase in this updated guidance is driven by the reduction in capacity and relief efforts from the hurricane together with a further increase in technology and product development investments. These expenses are being offset by expected favorability from activities below the line.

Taking into account current fuel pricing, interest and currency exchange rates, and the factors detailed above, Royal Caribbean said tht it estimates 2019 Adjusted EPS will be in the range of $9.50 to $9.55 per share.

"2019 is shaping up to be another year of solid yield growth and record earnings despite some unusual headwinds," said Jason T. Liberty, executive vice president and CFO. "As we enter 2020, we are particularly enthusiastic about the new ship deliveries, the development of new destinations, our fleet modernization and technology initiatives. These investments will help us deliver even greater vacations while generating higher yields and better returns."

FOURTH QUARTER 2019

Net Yields are expected to be up approximately 6.75% in Constant-Currency and approximately 6.25% As-Reported. These metrics include approximately 300 basis points from the operation of Silversea, the new cruise terminal and the Perfect Day development. These Net Yields were negatively impacted by approximately 140 basis points related to the abrupt discontinuation of the Cuba sailings.

NCC excluding Fuel per APCD for the quarter are expected to increase approximately 14.5% in Constant-Currency and approximately 14.25% As-Reported. These metrics include approximately 300 basis points from the operation of Silversea, the new cruise terminal and the Perfect Day development. As it relates to the year-over-year cadence, the fourth quarter includes a higher number of drydocks affecting the cost metric by approximately 600 basis points. Costs for the quarter are also impacted by the timing of expenses from the previous quarter, a further increase in technology and product development investments and relief efforts related to the hurricane. These expenses are expected to be partially offset by anticipated favorability from activities below the line.

Based on current fuel pricing, interest and currency exchange rates and the factors detailed above, Royal Caribbean said tht it expects fourth quarter Adjusted EPS to be approximately $1.40 per share.

2020 OUTLOOK

Royal Caribbean said tht it is experiencing strong early booking trends for 2020. Rates are higher than same time last year in all four quarters, booked load factors are ahead of same time last year on a like-for-like basis and the booking window has extended. The market response to Celebrity Apex which will debut in April; Odyssey of the Seas to be delivered in the fall, and Silversea Moon and Silversea Origin to be delivered during the summer, has been excellent. Royal Caribbean said tht it is particularly excited with the demand for Perfect Day at Cococay, its private destination in the Bahamas, which has been opening in phases since May 2019. While still early in the booking cycle, the view for 2020 is encouraging and the company expects another year of solid yield and earnings growth.

Sky Princess Begins Inaugural Season in Europe
Sky Princess, the first purpose built Princess MedallionClass ship, recently set sail on her inaugural season in Europe. Representing an evolution of the design platform used for her sister Royal-Class ships - Regal Princess, Royal Princess and Majestic Princess - the 143,700-ton, 3,660-guest Sky Princess offers an elevation of spectacular style and elegance that Princess is known for, in addition to new distinct features.

Introduced on Sky Princess are new luxury Sky Suites boasting expansive views from the largest balconies at sea. In addition, two new entertainment experiences are offered - Phantom Bridge, a world's first game combining digital and physical elements for the ultimate immersive escape room, and Take Five, the only jazz theater at sea, celebrating the iconic sounds, culture and history of jazz.

With the debut of Sky Princess, Princess Cruises marks the first time a ship has been built as a Princess MedallionClass ship. Powered by the OceanMedallion, the global hospitality industry's most advanced wearable device, MedallionClass vacations deliver a new level of service for a vacation that is more seamless, effortless and personalized. Considered a breakthrough in the vacation industry and a CES 2019 Innovation Award Honoree, the complimentary OceanMedallion features leading-edge technology that delivers personalized service through enhanced guest-crew interactions, while eliminating friction points and enabling interactive entertainment.

Royal Caribbean Unveils Bold Featyres On New Odyssey of the Seas
Royal Caribbean International is setting an uncharted course for adventure with the cruise line’s newest ship, Odyssey of the Seas. The first Quantum Ultra Class ship to arrive in North America will tout a brand-new look to match the fleet’s most action-packed top deck to date, and a mix of record-holding hits and groundbreaking firsts for a game-changing cruise vacation. Odyssey’s dialed-up onboard adventures, two-level pool deck designed for downtime under the sun and stars, and a collection of restaurants primed to please every palate will all be set against some of the world’s most picturesque backdrops, including the vibrant islands of the Caribbean and idyllic coasts of the eastern Mediterranean.

Bold in every direction, Odyssey’s highlights include the ultimate SeaPlex activity space that delivers a dose of adrenaline with new thrills, a little friendly competition and the most interactive arcade at sea. Adding to the mix, Odyssey will debut a reimagined Adventure Ocean where young adventure seekers can choose their own immersive experiences across an entirely new layout, while a new maxed-out teen lounge with gaming consoles, music and movies will provide endless hangout options indoors and outdoors on an exclusive patio. When it’s time to refuel, guests can enjoy the new Teppanyaki restaurant serving Far East flavors, and Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar with rustic Italian dishes and a contemporary flair. Entertainment across the ship will be punctuated by high-tech signature productions in the Royal Theater and Two70, where art and multimedia merge for surrounding, jaw-dropping performances only on Odyssey.

“Odyssey of the Seas will set an all-new standard created to deliver the most memorable vacations by combining immersive experiences, the best of Royal Caribbean’s trendsetting innovations and the signature ‘Royal Way’ service of our dedicated crew members,” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “This Quantum Ultra Class ship introduces a new way to see the world as she becomes our first purposefully built vessel for island hopping on both sides of the Atlantic.”

In November 2020, the ship’s inaugural year will kick off in the Caribbean’s clear blue waters and far-flung destinations like Curaçao, Aruba, Grand Cayman and Mexico on 8- and 6-night itineraries from Fort Lauderdale, FL. Odyssey will then sail to her homeport of Rome in May 2021 and become the first Quantum Ultra Class ship to cruise Europe for the summer. Ashore, travelers can explore storied towns in Turkey and Greece, including UNESCO World Heritage Sites like the ruins of Ephesus, the ancient Acropolis of Athens, the classic Cycladic architecture of Mykonos and more. Odyssey will share a whole new perspective of some of the world’s most legendary shores from 300 feet above sea level in the iconic North Star glass capsule, boasting 360-degree views.

New Level of Play
It’s all about the journey and adrenaline-inducing adventure when thrill seekers take on Odyssey’s top deck. The Quantum Ultra Class ship will introduce the next generation of Royal Caribbean’s signature SeaPlex, the largest indoor activity space at sea, where the whole crew can partake in pastimes together or solo. The most interactive arcade to ever sail will dominate the upper level of SeaPlex with VR games for individual and group play, augmented reality walls and floors for high-tech competitions and family experiences.

Travelers can feed their need for speed while dodging and dashing their way across a full-sized sports court with the only bumper cars at sea or soar from a flying trapeze. The space will also double as a glow-in-the-dark laser tag arena, pitting Yetis and Snow Shifters against each other as they battle for survival and control of the mythical ice city in Clash for the Crystal City.

Combining the best of Quantum Class with new Royal Caribbean favorites, Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade boasts a prime location within SeaPlex, with TVs at every angle to cheer on the home team. Offering club-level views of the competition below and onscreen, sports enthusiasts will catch every play on the court and back at home. Gameday bar fare like buffalo wings, sliders and the signature Playmakers Burger, alongside ice-cold brews, will make for the perfect snack. Guests can also enjoy classic board games, step up to the most interactive arcade at sea, play trivia and pool. Also available is the Owner’s Box VIP area for an MVP experience.

Vacationers will max out memory-making moments, whether catching waves on the signature FlowRider surf simulator and feeling the freedom of freefall on RipCord by iFly – the skydiving simulator – or scaling the 40-foot rock wall. Adrenaline seekers can also defy gravity with SkyPad, the bungee trampoline experience that transports travelers to another time, place or planet using a VR headset.

Primed to Unwind
Odyssey’s vibrant, two-level pool deck will offer a variety of options to sit back and soak up the sun with two open-air, resort-style pools and four whirlpools, surrounded by plenty of shady casitas and hammocks. Nearby, The Lime & Coconut serves up two stories of prime pool-front views and vacation-mode libations, keeping the island vibes going all day and into the night. Guests can enjoy grab-and-go, authentic Mexican fare at El Loco Fresh, from tacos and burritos, to quesadillas and an array of fresh salsas.

For a splash-filled day, the youngest globe-trotters can head to Splashaway Bay, an aqua park that boasts colorful waterslides, fountains, water cannons and more. Adults can retreat to the Solarium, an exclusive space on the top deck, for some much needed “me time,” including swimming pools and whirlpools, a full-service bar, daybeds and hidden nooks for ultimate relaxation.

Teched-Out Entertainment
The global cruise line’s 27th ship will up the ante on Royal Caribbean signature productions, featuring unrivaled talent, immersive technology and unparalleled special effects. Fusing art and technology, Two70 boasts 270-degree panoramic windows with sweeping ocean views from an expansive open area living room, which transforms in plain sight into a 135-foot-wide and 22-foot-tall screen, captivating onlookers into another world with its Vistarama technology. As day turns into night, the iconic venue at the aft of the ship becomes a multidimensional theater – where a troupe of six agile Roboscreens come to life in sync with music, special effects and multitalented live performers and aerialists – to create unimaginable visuals.

Guests looking to hit up the dance floor can head to Music Hall for an always-changing set list of live performances but not before grabbing a drink at the Bionic Bar. While some of the best cover bands take center stage, music lovers can dance, sit back and sing along with friends, or take it all in from intimate lounge spaces.

Diverse Dining
Culinary cravings will be met with options to please every palate. Never before seen in North America is Teppanyaki, the restaurant serving authentic oriental flavors cooked in one of Japan’s traditional styles. Whether ordering top-grade steaks or succulent seafood, the Far East dishes are prepared and served with a sizzle at the table. Also joining the lineup is Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar, Royal Caribbean’s new take on its signature Italian trattoria. Inviting guests to gather for authentically rustic dishes, from hand-tossed pizzas fresh out of the oven and made to order, to charcuterie delights, the elevated menu caps off this “Sunday supper” experience with a wide selection of wines and limoncellos from many of Italy’s well-known regions. Travelers can also expect to find Royal Caribbean favorites, including sushi and sashimi at Izumi, hand-cut steaks at Chop’s Grille, the Chef’s Table epicurean intimate experience and imaginative cuisine at Wonderland.

Panama Canal Cruise Unlike Any Other Cruise
On a cruise through the ingenious 105-year-old Panama Canal, you may find yourself wondering how far the human mind can go in its quest to find solutions. As your ship slowly traverses the 50-mile manmade shortcut through the jungle between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, howler monkeys screech in the distance and electric "mules" (locomotives) with ropes guide your ship through a series of locks and gates and across manmade lakes. It is an innovation for the ages, and it is hard not to feel inspired.

"A Panama Canal cruise is unlike any other you'll experience," says Colleen McDaniel, a writer and a big fan of Panama Canal cruises. "The main draw is the actual crossing of the canal, and to be able to do so on a ship is absolutely incredible. You can perch yourself in a viewing area and watch the mechanical marvel front and center. You simply can't replicate that experience with a land visit."

Panama Canal cruises embark from ports in Florida and California, such as Fort Lauderdale and Los Angeles, as well as from other ports in the U.S., Canada and Europe, in fall, winter (including popular holiday sailings) and spring. Most itineraries are 10 days or more.

Cruise guests can book either a one-way passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific (or vice versa) for what's known as a full transit; or a round-trip partial crossing from Florida, which lets you experience some of the locks of the canal and beautiful manmade Gatun Lake, a waterway surrounded by rainforest and teaming with wildlife.

Six of Carnival Corporation's nine cruise line brands offer travelers plenty of options, with more ships sailing through the Panama Canal than any other cruise company. A total of 26 cruise ships from its Carnival Cruise Line, Cunard, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn and P&O Cruises brands are scheduled to do more than 70 partial or full transits in the 2019-2020 season.

In 1967, Princess Cruises was the first cruise line through the Panama Canal, and today it carries more guests through the waterway than any other cruise line – this season with five ships, the line's largest-ever deployment in the canal.

McDaniel says it's important to pick the sailing that's right for you, whether you do a full or partial crossing.

"There are pros to both options, but be sure to do your research to understand what each has to offer," she says. "We always recommend familiarizing yourself with the history of the Panama Canal as well. Crossing it truly is an amazing experience, and it's made even more so when you know the whole history."

That history began when the Spanish first did a survey in the 1500s, looking for a way to get gold and silver from the Pacific back home to Spain, without having to go all the way around Cape Horn at the southern tip of South America. They decided the task was impossible. The French began construction of the canal in 1880. Their goal was to become the world's most powerful country by opening the shipping route. When they failed, the United States took over. After many years, and a loss of thousands of lives, the Panama Canal opened on August 15, 1914 – a feat of both engineering and human endurance.

"You are looking at something built over 100 years ago and operating the exact same way today as it did on Day 1," says Lance Schuler, a cruise and travel director for Holland America Line who has crossed the canal more than 100 times, most recently on the Zuiderdam. "It's amazing to think that nothing has changed on the Panama Canal in over 100 years with the exception of the installation of lights. We could not build something to last this long today like we did then. As a matter of fact, when they were building the new, larger 'Neo-Panamax' locks that opened in 2016, they had to repour the concrete twice to get it right."

Schuler says he never tires of the experience – which takes about eight to nine hours for a full crossing.

"I love being outside on deck, watching the operation, waving at the mule drivers," Schuler says. "You're at an amazing place, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of the top engineering feats ever constructed."

Adding to the excitement is the fact your ship won't be the only one going through the canal.

"You may have another cruise ship beside you," Schuler says. "I've been through with a submarine next to us, big sailing ships. It's funny because everyone's out on deck taking pictures of each other, even the tankers and the cargo ships."

During the crossing, a Panama Canal expert will be on board your ship doing a narration of history and facts over the PA system.

Itineraries on either side of the Panama Canal vary, but guests have opportunities to enjoy the diverse cultures of Central and South America as well as some of the best beaches in the Caribbean.

You might, for instance, zipline through a rainforest while spotting sloths and other wildlife in Costa Rica, hang out on the coral sands and crystal-clear waters of Seven Mile Beach on Grand Cayman, and ogle the flamingoes and others among the 1,900 species of birds at the Colombia National Aviary.

There are also relaxing days at sea where you can lounge around the pools, hit the casino and the spa, and enjoy other features and activities on your ship. Special activities will focus on the region you are visiting. Carnival Cruise Line, for instance, has culinary and entertainment experiences including arts and crafts, cooking demonstrations and celestial navigation on its Carnival Journeys transits. Holland America Line has Explorations Central programming focusing on the region's local traditions and cultural experiences and regional dishes on menus.

On a partial crossing, your ship may anchor in Gatun Lake for tender service to shore for excursions that may include opportunities to kayak in the canal or visit an island inhabited by thousands of capuchin monkeys and other wildlife. Schuler's favorite excursion takes guests by dugout canoe up the Chagres River to visit an Emberá Native village of grass huts built on stilts, for a dance performance. The Emberá people maintain pre-colonial traditions and lifestyle as keepers of the rainforest.

Your cruise may choose to visit colonial sights in Panama City at the Miraflores Locks Visitor Center with its museum displays and IMAX theater or the biodiversity-focused, Frank Gehry-designed Biomuseo, which is affiliated with the Smithsonian Institute.

McDaniel says guests on Panama Canal sailings tend to have a common interest in the canal as a bucket list experience.

"There are a number of destinations that are best seen by ship – and the Panama Canal is one of the top places," she says. "If you're interested in the Panama Canal, there is absolutely nothing better than hopping on a cruise and experiencing it first-hand."

The cruises are a good value and expand on your typical Caribbean or Mexican Riviera itinerary, McDaniel adds.

"The value for these cruises is excellent," she says. "Passengers are able to visit unique ports along the way. Many of them aren't on typical itineraries. Plus, enrichment and educational opportunities abound, which is what people crave when they cross the Panama Canal. It's the kind of trip you'll be talking about for a lifetime."

Cunard Collaborates with Dark Revolution to Create Selection of Craft Beers
Cunard announced this week that it has partnered with award-winning microbrewery, Dark Revolution, to create a trio of craft beers now available exclusively on Cunard's Three Queens – Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria. The beverage collection features a 'Black' Stout, a 'Red' IPA, and a 'Gold' Pilsner and are the latest addition to Cunard's custom beverage collection onboard.

Cunard Black is a handcrafted Biscotti Breakfast Stout, inspired by Cunard's legacy of world navigation with flavors from around the globe. The beer balances flavors of oats and dark roasted British malts with Sumatran coffee, Spanish almonds and Madagascan vanilla to create a stout beer with a touch of sweetness. Cunard Red is a handcrafted IPA with a gentle nod to Cunard's transatlantic crossings, combining American hops and British malts for fruity and citrus flavors and aromas. Cunard Gold is a classic handcrafted Pilsner, with fragrant hops and British malts combining for a German-style Pilsner.

The new craft beers are available on tap, in 12-oz cans and as a Tasting Flight in the Golden Lion Pub onboard, joining Cunard's collection of select beverages including the 3 Queens Gin, Cunard Private Label and Cunard Private Reserve wines.

"Dark Revolution is known for their outstanding quality, balance and finish and we are very excited to partner with the brewery in creating these exclusive blends, adding to Cunard's exceptional selection of beverages onboard," said Josh Leibowitz, SVP Cunard North America.

All three Cunard beers are available through the in-cabin room service menu and in all bars and restaurants onboard. The draught beers are priced from $6.80 and a Tasting Flight is $6.90, while the 12-oz cans start from $6.00. The brews are included as part of the World of Drinks 'Beers Wines & Spirits Option' and join Cunard's additional 42 different types of beers and ciders available onboard.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 44.33 + 2.81%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 112.20 + 0.12%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.88 + 4.76%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 51.89 + 1.84%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which ship was called ConOx for a short period of time in the early 1960's and why?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
In 1992 Radisson Cruise Lines introduced the Radisson Diamond, one of the oddest looking cruise ships ever. What was the technical term for her unique hull design and what does it stand for?

Answer - Small Waterplane Area Twin Hull (SWATH) is a twin-hull ship design that minimizes hull volume in the surface area of the sea. By minimizing hull volume in the sea's surface, where wave energy is located, the vessel becomes very stable, even in high seas and at high speeds.
courtesy of Julius Crone, Mount Vernon, New York


Cruise News - October 21, 2019

Seabourn Outlines Details For 'The Colonnade' Dining Venue
Seabourn is busy preparing for the launch of its new ultra-luxury purpose-built expedition ship, Seabourn Venture, set to begin cruising in June 2021. Travelers on Seabourn Venture and her yet-to-be-named sister ship will find a wealth of masterfully crafted onboard spaces, including The Colonnade, where guests can find a variety of delicious meal options for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The venue is part of the eight dining experiences expedition travelers will enjoy onboard the forthcoming expedition ships.

Renowned designer Adam D. Tihany has shaped public spaces that capture the romanticism of early explorers with the vibrant energy of present day, invoking a timeless sense of adventure while maintaining the familiarity of the venues that past guests have grown to enjoy. Specific details of The Colonnade are:

Located at the aft of Deck 5, The Colonnade is a casual and inviting elegant setting that is sure to be among the most popular spots for guests to savor the line's highly acclaimed all-inclusive international dining selections. The Colonnade is inspired by the wooden hulls of historic maritime design: The riveted curved wood panels of the ceiling will give guests the feeling of being inside the hull of one of the first expedition ships, a concept that echoes throughout the space with decorative metal plate details, integrated wood flooring, and art displays of intricate nautical knots.

Ribbed wood and etched glass partitions hold plush banquette seating dressed up with leather buckle details and inlayed wood-topped tables, while inviting dining chairs have a more handcrafted, rugged look with a light wood frame, exposed stitching, and natural light green and gray fabrics that are appealing to the eye.

Guests will have the option of enjoying dinner, served tableside at The Colonnade, while breakfast and lunch will be available via table service and buffet-style at stations featuring three-dimensional textured tile and white stone countertops. A sleek copper ceiling above each station will give guests the feeling of walking through a working kitchen. Special theme nights will feature Michelin-starred Chef Thomas Keller's family-style dinners that pay homage to his American childhood. His interpretations of classic comfort dishes, such as Clam Bake and BBQ Ribs will be served family-style on platters to complement the essence of sharing in a relaxed spirit of fun and togetherness.

The Colonnade will extend to the aft deck into The Patio, with guests welcomed to dine outside amid the fresh sea air, featuring its own menu offering extended hours for lunch serving items such as fresh baked pizza or Chef Keller's Napa Burger and Yountwurst. The same aft deck will also be home to the infinity-inspired pool and two Jacuzzis, as well as two elegant sculptural showers, all with clear views off the back of the ship to the stunning vistas beyond.

"Wherever you go across the Seabourn fleet, you'll find our guests appreciate choice in dining style and the more casual atmosphere of The Colonnade at all times of the day," said Gerald Mosslinger, vice president of Hotel Operations for Seabourn. "Though it's more relaxed in feel, guests who dine there know the quality of the dishes is high, with many culinary options to please every palate, making it a wonderful choice for breakfast, lunch or dinner."

Seabourn Venture will feature 132 luxurious oceanfront veranda suites. Renderings of the new ships, suites and public spaces of the ship can be found in the link here. More details about other dining, social venues and public spaces will continue to be revealed in the coming months.

Carnival Reveals Programming for First Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park At Sea Aboard Carnival Panorama
Carnival Cruise Line today announced additional details on the first-ever Sky Zone trampoline park at sea aboard Carnival Panorama, debuting this December in Long Beach.

Located on Decks 6 and 7, the expansive two-deck-high facility encompasses more than 3,000 square feet, providing high-flying fun for guests of all ages across a 12-lane trampoline court.

Sky Zone will be open all day on sea days with late afternoon and evening sessions on port days. One-hour sessions will be held throughout the cruise and available for three different age groups – 6 months to 5 years; 6-14; and 15 and older.

During “toddler time” sessions, younger cruisers can participate in the bouncy fun, accompanied by an adult. The fee is $5 per child and $5 per adult.

Older kids can check out a “challenge zone” equipped with a climbing wall, balance/jousting beam, Sky Ladder climbing apparatus, gravity-defying dodgeball games and above-the-rim basketball experiences. The one-hour sessions are $12. Custom Sky Zone socks are included in the price.

There’s also a nighttime all-ages blacklight glow party for $18 and includes a custom T-shirt. All activities can be conveniently booked once on board at the Sky Zone kiosk located adjacent to the facility.

Sky Zone is the originator in creating innovative ways to play with over 200 trampoline parks across the United States, Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, Australia, the United Kingdom, Norway, India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Colombia.

Sky Zone is one of many family-friendly amenities that will be featured on Carnival Panorama when it debuts in Long Beach Dec. 11 – the first new Carnival ship to be homeported on the West Coast in 20 years. Also featured will be a massive WaterWorks aqua park, extra-roomy Family Harbor staterooms, a suspended ropes course, and the line’s Seuss at Sea program, part of an exclusive partnership with Dr. Seuss Enterprises.

Carnival Panorama will sail year-round seven-day Mexican Riviera cruises beginning on Dec. 14.

Voyager of the Seas Returns to Service Following $97 million Renovation
Following a US$97 million, 41-day transformation, Royal Caribbean International’s renovated Voyager of the Seas sailed into Singapore to kick off her season across Southeast Asia this week. The first Royal Amplified ship to debut in Asia, Voyager is set to raise the bar on cruise holiday experiences, cruising roundtrip from Singapore on a series of 3- to 5-night adventures to Penang, Melaka and Kuala Lumpur (Port Klang), Malaysia; and Phuket, Thailand.

New additions include first-to-market experiences and amenities, such as The Perfect Storm duo of three-story racer waterslides and glow-in-the-dark laser tag with Battle for Planet Z. Debuting alongside this lineup is the reinvigorated Vitality Spa and Fitness Center, redesigned kids and teens spaces as well as 72 new inside and balcony staterooms.

Guests can also look forward to the new Royal Caribbean International mobile app, which will deliver a more seamless holiday experience. Through the app, travellers will be able to check in for their cruise, view their onboard expenses as well as make and manage reservations for onboard activities, dining, shows and shore excursions, among other features.

Angie Stephen, Managing Director, Asia-Pacific of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. said, “Our newly transformed Voyager of the Seas will wow our guests more than ever, with a larger array of unique next-generation experiences and signature Royal Caribbean offerings. This is a tremendous boost for our efforts to grow our presence in Singapore and across the region, as we look forward to welcoming more guests to enjoy our amplified cruise products.”

Voyager set course for Penang on its first Southeast Asia cruise on Oct. 21. Beginning Nov. 30, the renovated ship will set sail for a season Down Under with 9- to 12-night South Pacific cruises from Sydney and visit exotic destinations, including Brisbane and Airlie Beach, Australia; Noumea and Mare, New Caledonia; and Mystery Island, Vanuatu. In 2020, Voyager will return to Singapore for her summer season from May to June, with a series of 3- to 5-night sailings to popular destinations in Southeast Asia.

Paul Gauguin Cruises Announces 2021 Voyages In Tahiti, French Polynesia & The South Pacific
Paul Gauguin Cruises is pleased to officially announce its 2021 voyages, which feature popular favorites along with a new 11-night Tuamotus & Society Islands itinerary and 12- and 13-night Fiji, Tonga, Cook & Society Islands sailings.

The new 11-night Tuamotus & Society Islands itinerary features two visits to Paul Gauguin Cruises' renowned private island Motu Mahana, where guests can enjoy a day of watersports, Polynesian activities, a sumptuous barbecue feast, and cocktails from full and floating bars. Voyages depart Papeete, Tahiti, on January 23, 2021, and December 4, 2021, and sail to Huahine, Society Islands; Taha'a (Motu Mahana), Society Islands; Bora Bora, Society Islands (overnight); At Sea; Rangiroa, Tuamotus; Fakarava, Tuamotus; At Sea; Taha'a (Motu Mahana); Moorea, Society Islands; and Papeete, Tahiti.

In 2021, The Gauguin returns to the tropical wonderland of Fiji on two voyages that also feature Tonga, the Cook Islands, and the Society Islands. The 13-night voyage departs Papeete, Tahiti, on May 22, 2021, and visits: Moorea, Society Islands; Taha'a (Motu Mahana), Society Islands; Bora Bora, Society Islands; At Sea; Aitutaki, Cook Islands; At Sea (2 days); Vava'u, Tonga; At Sea; Savusavu, Vanua Levu, Fiji; Suva, Viti Levu, Fiji; Beqa Island, Fiji; and Lautoka, Viti Levu, Fiji. The 12-night reverse itinerary departs June 5, 2021, and calls at the same ports except Beqa Island, Fiji.

The Gauguin will also be showcasing its most sought-after itineraries: the 7 night Tahiti & the Society Islands; the 7-night Society Islands & Tahiti Iti; the 10-night Society Islands & Tuamotus; the 11-night Cook Islands & Society Islands; and the 14-night Marquesas, Tuamotus & Society Islands.

Designed specifically to sail the pristine lagoons of these islands, The Gauguin provides an up-close, authentic experience of the South Seas and offers an elegant yet casual ambiance with luxurious accommodations, exceptional service, gourmet dining, trademark Polynesian hospitality, private beach retreats, and extraordinary all-inclusive value.

Carnival Corporation, Royal Caribbean and Government of St. Lucia Sign Memorandum of Understanding
Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. today announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the government of Saint Lucia to form a joint venture to manage the existing cruise pier and terminal facilities in Saint Lucia, and to design, construct and operate a new cruise port on the island.

As part of the MOU, Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean and the government of Saint Lucia will establish a long-term concession agreement to formalize the terms and responsibilities for the joint venture to manage and operate the current cruise pier and terminal facilities at the Port of Castries. Additionally, the joint venture will design, finance, construct and operate a new cruise port in Vieux Fort on the southern part of the island that will be able to accommodate the latest and most innovative ships in the cruise industry.

Prime Minister of Saint Lucia Honourable Allen Chastanet has called the signing of the MOU "historic" and "a major step towards enhancing Saint Lucia's tourism product."

"Saint Lucia has had record breaking cruise arrivals over the past few years and we thank our partners Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean for their continued confidence in our amazing destination," said Prime Minister Chastanet. "It is essential that we continue to diversify what we have to offer, grow our brand and ensure that different sectors in our island's economy benefit from the growth in cruise tourism and that Saint Lucians can benefit from the opportunities which arise from the increased numbers; which means we have to improve our capacity. This signing is historic, as this project will have a major impact on the sustainability of the cruise sector and the reach of cruise tourism to the south of the island. This will also mean employment at several phases of the project, the expansion of existing businesses and the formation of new enterprises. We look forward to this partnership as this marks a new day and a significant achievement for our government, for the people of the south of Saint Lucia and for our island as a whole."

"This is an exciting day for our guests who already love the beauty and deep culture of Saint Lucia and an important step in sustaining cruise tourism growth for the island," said Giora Israel, senior vice president of global port and destination development for Carnival Corporation. "We look forward to working closely with our JV partners to give cruise passengers great experiences when visiting the island. With the new development project, Saint Lucia will be very well-positioned for jobs and significant economic impact for years to come."

"The cruise market is the fastest growing sector of tourism and in the next decade cruising in the Caribbean region is anticipated to increase by 40%," said Michael Bayley, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean. "We are excited to partner with the Government of Saint Lucia to ensure that the destination directly benefits from that growth, while giving more guests the opportunity to visit this unique gem in the Caribbean."

Together, the cruise line brands of Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. currently account for 75% of all cruise ship deployment to Saint Lucia. Under the new agreement, the joint venture would optimize the experience for guests visiting Saint Lucia while developing additional cruise infrastructure to support the industry's latest ships and promote the growth of cruise tourism on the island.

"Jim Henson's Inspired Silliness" Puppet Show to Debut Onboard New Sky Princess & Enchanted Princess
From the brilliant mind of legendary puppeteer Jim Henson, and brought to life by The Jim Henson Company and Director John Tartaglia, Jim Henson's Inspired Silliness will entertain audiences of all ages onboard the new Sky Princess in 2019 and Enchanted Princess in 2020.

New and exclusive to Princess Cruises, Jim Henson's Inspired Silliness recreates and reimagines several of Jim Henson's hilarious, innovative and magical works from early in his prolific career in a 30-minute performance. The Princess production show singers and dancers will bring to life the comedy, mind-blowing visuals, memorable music and world-renowned Henson style of puppetry that has redefined the artform. With a colorful cast of new puppets from Jim Henson's Creature Shop, including several newly designed characters, the show captures the spirit and legacy of Jim Henson and includes a lighthearted video introduction by his son Brian Henson.

"Audiences experience something special and mesmerizing while being entertained by puppetry, and Inspired Silliness will give our guests an incredibly unique and new entertainment offering," said Denise Saviss, Princess Cruises vice president of entertainment experience. "You can't help but smile, laugh out loud and sing along to this original Henson production and feel connected to the performers and the audience during this show."

The Inspired Silliness creative team includes:

Reimagined & Directed by John Tartgalia – Directing: The Wizard of Oz, Shrek the Musical and Tarzan (Muny), Claudio Quest (New York Musical Theatre Festival, winner Outstanding Direction, Best of the NYMF),Elmo the Musical, Live! (Sesame Place), Avenue Q (off-Broadway, Resident Director (2012-2015). Theatre Performance: Broadway debut in Avenue Q (Tony nominee), creating the roles of Princeton and Rod. Other Broadway: Lumiere in Beauty and the Beast, and Pinocchio in Shrek The Musical. Television: Best known to parents and kids as "Johnny" from Disney's Johnny and the Sprites (Daytime Emmy award nomination) on Disney Junior Worldwide. "Sesame Street" (13 Seasons), "Bear in the Big Blue House" (Disney Channel), "Ugly Betty" (ABC), "Animal Jam" (Discovery Kids), "The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss" (Nickelodeon), "Play with me Sesame" (Sprout/Noggin), "Blue's Room" (Nickelodeon), "JoJo's Circus" (Disney Channel). His acclaimed off-Broadway, national and international touring show ImaginOcean, a new Jim Henson Company series on PBS entitled Splash and Bubbles with John serving as an executive producer and Emmy-nominated performer of "Splash." John is also the host of SiriusXM On Broadway's Sunday Funday.

Puppets by Jim Henson's Creature Shop - Jim Henson's Creature Shop provides performed digital visual effects, animatronic creatures, animation and soft puppets to the international film, television, advertising, stage production, and theme park industries. The Shop's most recent work can be seen in the critically acclaimed Netflix series The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance. Based in Los Angeles and New York with satellite shop capabilities internationally, the Shop is known for designing and building some of the world's best-known characters including the Sesame Street puppets, the classic Muppets, the dinosaurs from Dinosaurs, the aliens from Farscape and the fantastical creatures from The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth. Other feature film credits include Where the Wild Things Are, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. The shop is also known for its live performance work with artists like Cee Lo Green, Kanye West, Lady Gaga and Deadmau5 and stage productions like The Secret Silk for Princess Cruises and Henson Alternative's Puppet Up! - Uncensored. Themed entertainment clients include World of Coca Cola, Universal Studios Hollywood and Hershey's Chocolate World. A recipient of more than 9 Emmy Awards for its outstanding work building puppets for Sesame Street, the Shop also received an Academy Award for its visual effects work on the film Babe. Other awards include a Scientific and Engineering Academy Award for the Henson Performance Control System, and an Emmy Award for the Henson Digital Puppetry Studio.

Set Designer Anna Louizos – A three-time Tony Award nominee, has designed sets for such Broadway musicals as School of Rock (sets/costumes –for US, London and National Tour); Irving Berlin's Holiday Inn; The Mystery of Edwin Drood; In the Heights; High Fidelity; Dames at Sea; Honeymoon in Vegas; It ShouldaBeen You; Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella; Avenue Q; The Performers; Irving Berlin's White Christmas; Curtains; Baby It's You; All About Me; To Be Or Not To Be; Steel Magnolias; Golda's Balcony. She has also designed numerous regional and off Broadway shows across the US; some notable world premieres include Disney's Aladdin (5thAvenue Theatre, Seattle), Minsky's, (Ahmanson, LA); Altar Boyz (New World Stages, NYC); Speech and Debate (New York); Jonathan Larson's tick, tick… BOOM! (Jane Street, NYC); Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas (Goodspeed, CT); Vanities, the Musical (Second Stage, NYC); In Transit(Primary Stages, NYC). USITT 2016 Distinguished Achievement Award; NAACP 2011 Theatre Award For In the Heights. Art Director: "Sex and the City" (HBO). Founder of BROADWAY DESIGN EXCHANGE, an online theatrical marketplace.

What Makes Colombia A Great Destination For Cruise Lines
Colombia is showing significant advances in the cruise industry at a global scale. Over the course of 15 years around 35 of the most prestigious cruise lines have reached Colombian coasts, and the number keeps growing.

The country has competitive advantages for the cruise lines, which include coasts in the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans, a wide range of exotic beaches, and a strategic location outside of the hurricane area which allows for an uninterrupted operation throughout all the year.

Besides the must-see cities of Cartagena and Santa Marta, Colombia has other destinations on the Caribbean such as San Andrés island, a sun and beach paradise that has been selected by the Condé Nast Traveler Readers' Choice Awards as one of the top 5 islands in the Americas.

On the other hand, The Pacific coast is a great option for nature and adventure tourism offering activities like diving, trekking or whale and bird watching.

"Since 2006 there has been a significant growth in the number of cruise ships coming to Colombia. Dockings increased from 53 in 2006 to 231 in 2018, an increase of 335% in ship arrivals and 646% in passenger arrivals going from 50,946 to 380,000," according to Flavia Santoro, president of ProColombia, the government agency in charge of promoting non-mining-energy exports, foreign direct investment and tourism.

The improved interest of cruise lines in Colombia is demonstrated by the wide range of companies that visit the country such as Norwegian Cruise Line, Carnival Cruises, Holland America, Celebrity Cruises or TUI Cruises and more recently the arrival of lines specializing in luxury and exploration.

Colombia is also a powerhouse for procurement. The country supplies cruise lines with textiles, agrobusiness products such as coffee, and has the potential to grow sustainably in this business.

According to José Manuel Restrepo, Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism of Colombia: "We work to increase the arrival of international cruise passengers to Colombia. The country has opportunities to strengthen this industry in the Caribbean region through the promotion of its touristic offer and the attraction of foreign investment in this sector."

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 43.12 + 2.57%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 112.07 + 3.81%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.84 - 4.55%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 50.95 + 1.59%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
In 1992 Radisson Cruise Lines introduced the Radisson Diamond, one of the oddest looking cruise ships ever. What was the technical term for her unique hull design and what does it stand for?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
When the Seabourn Spirit was attacked by pirates off the coast of Somalia several years ago, it used an innovative technology to help repel the pirates. What was the technology called and how does it work?

Answer - Long Range Acoustical Device (LRAD) it operates by focusing sound or voice in a specific direction. It can be used to issue a verbal warning that can be followed up by a sound that is meant to deter or prevent persons from approaching the vessal or vehicle. It is manufactured by American Technology Corporation.
courtesy of Kevin Tapee


Cruise News - October 14, 2019

Sky Princess Officially Joins Princess Cruises Fleet
Princess Cruises today took delivery of Sky Princess from shipbuilder Fincantieri at an official handover ceremony at the shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy. The first ship designed from the ground up as a Princess MedallionClass ship, the 143,700-ton, 3,660-guest Sky Princess features an evolution of the design platform used for the cruise line's previous Royal-Class ships.

The milestone handover ceremony was attended by executives from Carnival Corporation & plc including Micky Arison, Chairman of Carnival Corporation; Arnold Donald, President and CEO of Carnival Corporation; Stein Kruse, Group CEO of Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Seabourn, Carnival Australia and Carnival UK, and Jan Swartz, Group President of Princess Cruises and Carnival Australia, Fincantieri was represented by Giuseppe Bono, CEO.

"We wish to extend our sincere gratitude to our long-time shipbuilding partner Fincantieri who delivered Sky Princess to us today," said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises. "As our new flagship in the fleet, Sky Princess represents the absolute best Princess Cruises has to offer our guests by connecting them with what matters most, unique destinations, loved ones, and new friends, while enjoying all the state-of the-art experiences in comfort and style."

With the debut of Sky Princess, Princess Cruises marks the first time a ship has been purpose-built as a Princess MedallionClass ship. Featuring the complimentary OceanMedallion wearable device, MedallionClass vacations deliver an entirely new level of service and creates a vacation that is more seamless, effortless and personalized.

Considered a breakthrough in the vacation industry and a CES 2019 Innovation Award Honoree, the OceanMedallion wearable device is complimentary for all guests and features leading-edge technology that delivers personalized service through enhanced guest-crew interactions, eliminates friction points and enables interactive entertainment.

Princess MedallionClass Vacations are resulting in high guest satisfaction scores, thanks to a portfolio of experiences specifically designed to enhance their cruise vacation, including:

• Expedited Arrival - From curbside to poolside in a breeze: Personalization starts pre-cruise as guests become OceanReady before arriving at the port. Guests who arrive at the terminal having uploaded their travel documents (i.e. passports) to their profile enjoy a streamlined and expedited check-in process that gets their vacation started even sooner.

• On-Demand Services - Food, beverage, retail orders and service delivered to your location: Using smart devices and stateroom TVs, guests have the ability to order drinks, food and retail items like sunscreen with OceanNowTM and have them delivered directly anywhere on board.

• Family and Friends Locator - Finding travel companions and directional ship information: Accessible on portals throughout the ships and via guests' smart devices, OceanCompassTM leverages the OceanMedallion to easily locate and chat with friends and family on board, as well as enables point-to-point wayfinding throughout the ship. OceanCompass guides guests throughout their journey, providing directional information so they can seamlessly navigate to their next point of interest.

Other innovative features of the Princess MedallionClass experience include:

• Keyless stateroom entry: Access to staterooms is a seamless experience where each guest is securely validated as the door automatically unlocks. Personalized greetings, including loyalty level recognition and celebrations, welcome the guest on their door portal.

• Interactive voyage timeline: Available on ship portals and via guests' smart devices, JourneyViewTM is an interactive timeline that lets guests scroll through all of the events available on board during their voyage and bookmark activities they are interested in to their own personalized itinerary. Voyage itineraries are available as many as 60 days in advance, allowing guests to start planning before they leave home.

• Wager-based gaming: On smart devices and on select portals via Ocean Casino, lets guests wager real money on games including slots, poker, bingo, roulette, keno and lottery from anywhere on board.

• Interactive game play: On portals located shipwide and on smart devices PlayOcean helps guests enjoy a new level of fun with interactive games, a digital scavenger hunt, customizable avatars and more. PlayOcean also transforms guests' mobile devices into game controllers for interactive gaming on the massive Movies Under the Stars screen.

Sky Princess will start her inaugural season in Europe on a seven-day Mediterranean & Adriatic maiden voyage from Athens to Barcelona on Oct. 20, 2019. The ship will sail a series of Mediterranean voyages before debuting in North America on Dec. 1, 2019, for a season of Caribbean cruises from Ft. Lauderdale.

Sky Princess shares all of the spectacular style and elegance of her sister ships - Regal Princess, Royal Princess and Majestic Princess. The ship also debuts the new luxurious Sky Suites, with expansive views from the largest balconies at sea. In addition, two new entertainment experiences are offered - Phantom Bridge, a world's first game combining digital and physical elements for the ultimate immersive escape room, and Take 5, the only jazz theater at sea, celebrating the iconic sounds, culture and history of jazz.

The Princess Cruises fleet continues to expand with Enchanted Princess in June 2020, Discovery Princess in November 2021 and two additional ships in 2023 and 2025.

Steel Cutting Ceremony Begins Countdown to New Cunard Ship
Today, Cunard cruise line celebrated the beginning of construction on the line’s 249th ship with a steel cutting ceremony at Fincantieri’s Castellammare di Stabia Shipyard in Italy. The first piece of steel cut will be used as a sculpture displayed on the new ship for guests to enjoy and marks a landmark moment in the company’s 179-year history. The yet unnamed ship will be the second largest to fly the Cunard flag, and is set to reimagine the luxury cruise experience with an array of unique and exciting on board amenities.

The steel cutting ceremony marks the commencement of the building process for Cunard’s new ship, which is set to join the fleet in 2022. Fincantieri will house and construct the first section of the new ship. The shipbuilding group previously delivered Cunard’s world-renowned Queen Victoria in 2007 and Queen Elizabeth in 2010.

“After years of planning and design, we are thrilled to see the building process begin for our newest ship,” says Josh Leibowitz, SVP Cunard North America. “The new ship will be the fourth in our fleet, taking inspiration from our past, integrating the Cunard spirit with exciting new concepts and ideas that will provide a uniquely luxurious travel experience for our guests.”

Mr Gilberto Tobaldi, Shipyard Director for Fincantieri, added, “We are very proud to be embarking on this next chapter of Cunard’s history with the start of the build of their newest ship and we look forward to working with the Cunard and Carnival UK teams over the next months.”

Acclaimed sculptor Sam Shendi will craft a unique sculpture from the first piece of metal cut from the new ship. Known for using contemporary industrial metal, steel, stainless steel, aluminium and fiberglass to create his work, Shendi will commission the work for guests on board to view and enjoy.

Shendi said, “I’m really looking forward to working with the Cunard team and to be given the challenge of creating a sculpture from the first piece of steel cut for their new ship is such a unique opportunity. It would be exciting for any artist to be part of such a long history and know that their artwork will travel the world on the ship connecting guests from all corners of the globe.”

Cunard’s new ship is set to enter service in 2022 with bookings available next year. With construction underway, Creative Director and globally acclaimed designer Adam D. Tihany will work alongside Fincantieri to deliver a new standard of Cunard luxury. The award-winning design team also includes Simon Rawlings of David Collins Studio, Terry McGillicuddy of Richmond International and Sybille de Margerie of Sybille de Margerie Paris.

Andy Stuart Steppng Down At Norwegian Cruise Line
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. today announced the planned departure of Andy Stuart, President and Chief Executive Officer of Norwegian Cruise Line (“Norwegian”), following the launch of Norwegian Encore and the appointment of Harry Sommer, current President, International for Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, as Stuart’s successor. Stuart will step down from his role on December 31, 2019 and remain with the Company as Senior Advisor through March 31, 2020 to ensure a smooth transition.

Stuart joined Norwegian in 1988 and held several key executive positions during his tenure of more than three decades, including: President and Chief Operating Officer; Executive Vice President, Global Sales and Passenger Services; Executive Vice President and Chief Product Officer and Executive Vice President of Marketing, Sales and Passenger Services. Stuart was instrumental in many of the line’s key achievements including the introduction of its revolutionary Freestyle Cruising offering where, in an industry first, guests were freed from traditional set dining times in a single venue and given the freedom and flexibility to dine at whatever time they chose in a variety of dining venues.

“I could only have dreamed about my journey at Norwegian when I joined the company in 1988 and am extremely fortunate to have witnessed firsthand the incredible evolution of this pioneering brand,” said Andy Stuart, President and Chief Executive Officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. “I am honored to have played a role in the leadership position Norwegian now holds in this incredible industry and continue to be proud of the commitment, dedication and passion of our team for delivering a best-in-class vacation experience. I have worked closely with Harry and am confident he is the right person to take the helm and continue the journey for Norwegian Cruise Line.”

“Andy has accomplished everything possible in the cruise industry, including leading its most storied and innovative brand. He will leave on a high note after delivering the brand’s latest ship, Norwegian Encore, the last ship in the most successful ship class in the Company’s history,” said Frank Del Rio, President and Chief Executive Officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. “We are extremely grateful for his leadership and contributions to Norwegian Cruise Line, our company and the cruise industry.”

Del Rio continued, “Over the last several years, Norwegian’s management and Board of Directors have worked closely on a comprehensive succession plan that leveraged the considerable bench strength across the organization. The Board and I are confident that Harry is the right person to succeed Andy as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Norwegian Cruise Line brand and look forward to him leveraging his breadth of knowledge and extensive experience in the industry and our Company to take the brand to new heights.”

“Andy and I have worked closely together over the last several years and I am humbled and honored to follow in his footsteps and lead this renowned brand,” said Harry Sommer, President, International for Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. “I look forward to working with all of our incredible partners worldwide, building off the strong position the brand holds today and charting the strategy for the next phase of Norwegian’s journey.”

Sommer currently serves as President, International for Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. where he is responsible for all sales, marketing, public relations and office operations for Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises in all markets outside of the United States and Canada. He previously served as Executive Vice President, International Business Development and Executive Vice President and Chief Integration Officer for Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and held various executive positions for Prestige Cruise Holdings including Chief Marketing Officer; Senior Vice President, Finance and Chief Information Officer and Chief Accounting Officer. Sommer holds a MBA from Pace University and a BBA from Baruch College.

Carnival Cruise Line To Add Fourth Ship In Galveston
Everything is bigger in Texas – including Carnival Cruise Line – which announced today that it will have four ships homeported in Galveston, year-round, beginning in 2021.

Building on its position as the World's Most Popular Cruise Line and the number one cruise line from Texas, Carnival Cruise Line said that Carnival Radiance will join the Galveston-based fleet in May 2021. In addition, Carnival Breeze will return to Galveston from Port Canaveral, becoming the newest and largest ship to operate a short cruise program from Galveston. Carnival Dream will shift to six- and eight-day Caribbean voyages while Carnival Vista will continue its popular week-long Caribbean cruises.

All Galveston-based ships and itineraries opened for sale today. With these four ships, Carnival Cruise Line will carry an estimated 900,000 guests annually from Galveston – more than any other cruise operator – on 235 five- to 14-day sailings a year, providing an unprecedented variety of cruise durations, destinations and amenities from Texas.

"Carnival is already the most popular cruise line from Galveston attracting vacationers from all across the Southwest and beyond. With these enhancements, we're providing our guests with more voyages, more destinations and more choices from Texas than ever before," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.

"As North America's fourth busiest cruise port, the Port of Galveston is pleased to welcome the Carnival Radiance. Since Carnival made Galveston its homeport almost 20 years ago, more than 7.5 million Carnival Cruise Line passengers have embarked from our wharves," said Rodger Rees, Galveston Wharves CEO and Port Director. "As we grow, we'll continue to focus on delivering great service to Carnival and its passengers."

Carnival Radiance will launch a new schedule of five- to 14-day voyages from the Port of Galveston beginning on May 14, 2021. On this route:

• Five-day cruises depart Sundays and feature the seaside Mexican ports of Cozumel and Progreso or Costa Maya.

• Three different nine-day options departing Fridays will be offered – one calling at Cozumel, Limon (Costa Rica), and a partial Panama Canal transit or a visit to Colon (Panama), another featuring Key West, Grand Turk, the private Bahamian island of Half Moon Cay and Nassau, and a third stopping at Grand Cayman, Mahogany Bay (Isla Roatan), Belize, Costa Maya and Cozumel.

• Two eight-port, 14-day Carnival Journeys cruises visiting top destinations throughout the Caribbean, Central and South America and the Panama Canal will also be offered departing Oct. 24, 2021 and Jan. 16, 2022.

Carnival Radiance will undergo an extensive bow-to-stern $200 million renovation next year that will add all of the line's food, beverage and entertainment innovations, bringing an exciting new option to the Galveston market. Its sister ship, the transformed Carnival Sunrise, debuted earlier this year and has quickly become a very popular addition to the Carnival fleet, which Carnival Radiance is sure to match. The extensive 38-day renovation of the ship will add a host of new food and beverage outlets including Guy's Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse created by Food Network star Guy Fieri, Cucina del Capitano family-style Italian restaurant, Bonsai Sushi, and Caribbean-inspired RedFrog Pub, and the first Big Chicken restaurant created by Carnival's Chief Fun Officer, Shaquille O'Neal. All of the ship's spaces will be transformed including the water park, youth facilities, retail shops, Cloud 9 Spa and a new Liquid Lounge home to Carnival's dazzling, high-tech Playlist Productions shows.

Carnival Radiance will reposition to the Port of Galveston with a 12-day Carnival Journeys Panama Cruise departing Port Canaveral May 2 and arriving in Galveston May 14, 2021.

Royal Caribbean Announces Lelepa
Vanuatu, one of the natural gems of the South Pacific, will be the new home of Royal Caribbean's newest private island destination – Perfect Day at Lelepa, Vanuatu.

The announcement of the new project was made by Vanuatu's Prime Minister, Charlot Salwai, and Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley.

Salwai and Bayley said the destination will be created in partnership with the community of Vanuatu to showcase the distinct natural ecological beauty and diverse local culture of the island nation as well as provide employment and education opportunities.

Perfect Day at Lelepa will also be built with sustainability features designed to safeguard the island's ecosystems and will be the first carbon neutral* private cruise destination in the world. Cox Architecture, a sustainable, design-focused contemporary architectural firm based in Australia, will serve as the lead architect on the project.

"We believe our destinations should be sustainably designed," Bayley said. "That idea goes beyond simply protecting the ecological features of Lelepa and includes showing respect for the people and traditions that make this a special place."

Vanuatu Prime Minister Salwai said, "Vanuatu is a true paradise for both our people and the visitors we welcome to our shores each year. Today marks a major step forward in our island nation's close relationship with Royal Caribbean and one that will support sustainable growth for future generations. The Ni-Vanuatu people look forward to welcoming Royal Caribbean guests from around the world to enjoy extraordinary adventures and relaxation during their Perfect Day at Lelepa."

Bayley said, "Anyone who has encountered the tremendous natural beauty of Lelepa can understand why it is the perfect setting for 'Perfect Day.' Our guests who travel to the South Pacific are seeking authentic adventures and genuine relaxation, and they will find both here."

Perfect Day at Lelepa will have a different look and feel from Royal Caribbean's wildly popular Perfect Day at CocoCay "because our guests around the world all have different definitions for their perfect day — and all of them are right. Our designers and nature have created the ideal South Pacific experience and we expect the results will be stunning."

MSC Cruises Reveals New Island Experiences Awaiting Guests At Ocean Cay
This November MSC Cruises will welcome its first guests onto its breath-taking new private island destination in The Bahamas, Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve. Today the leading cruise line reveals even more island experiences awaiting MSC Cruises' guests, in addition to photos of the island.

With endless sweeping vistas of crystal blue waters and two miles of white sandy beaches, Ocean Cay is the ideal getaway for guests to discover nature's pure, untouched beauty through a variety of activities designed for all ages. From ocean discovery activities like snorkeling, stand-up paddle boarding and kayaking to relaxing in a cabana on the beach or during a luxurious spa treatment, there is something for everyone. Guests can also enjoy breath-taking sunsets followed by a traditional Bahamian Junkanoo parade, a spectacular lighthouse light show, or beachside stargazing. For those just wishing to unwind and take in the beautiful surroundings, there are eight beaches to choose from, offering different activities and services. The island is easy to get around and easily accessible from the ship by foot, or guests can simply hop on the electric tram that will transport guests around the island.

A few of the newest island experiences awaiting visitors include:

Feel a New Thrill:

• Deep Sea Fishing: Catch, Tag and Release – After a short boat ride, guests can reel in an adventure-filled day as they Catch, Tag and Release to learn about the different species of regional fish and how they migrate in one of the most famous fishing areas of the world. Gray Fish, the only tagging research center in The Bahamas, will help guests as they catch and tag their fish to report information on the specific catch. Once the fish caught and tagged, it is then released.

• Rum Rendezvous (Adults Only) – Enjoy a scenic boat ride to a stunning Bahama bank where guests can enjoy a lively, adults-only atmosphere and pristine shallow waters while sipping on complimentary rum punch, surrounded by live music and dancing.

• Ceclo Luxury Electric Pedalo Rentals – Explore or simply slowly drift for hours in the tranquility of the beautiful Bahamian waters on the newest invention on the market, the Ceclo – the luxury yacht of pedal boats, with electric assistance ready for all your adventures and made of recycled champagne cork, wood, and aluminum.

• Glow Night-time Stand-Up Paddle Boarding – Discover the marine life after dark and enjoy a calm evening paddle under a starry sky with a specially equipped stand-up paddle board, fitted with LED illumination that allows guests to glide on a beam of light across the calm waters of The Bahamas.

Fun for the Whole Family:

• Ocean Cay Family Club – The whole family sets out on a great adventure across the island to help Captain Doremi save the island while learning about the environment and animal species living on the land, and how to preserve the island and oceans around them.

• The Bahama Bank Escape (Family Tour) – This tour is fun for the whole family aboard a spacious double decker power catamaran. The captain and crew take families on a charming boat ride to Bahama Banks where visitors can splash around in the shallow tropical waters, enjoy sport activities and relax on the beach with complimentary local rum punch for adults.

• Kids Beachside Stargazing Adventure – This fun learning activity for kids allows them to discover everything about the universe, planets, stars, time and space. Led by Captain Doremi, children will help a little star find her way back home to the skies through stories, games and riddles.

The Perfect Setting for a Touch of Romance:

• Honeymoon Harbour Stingray Adventure – Interact with a variety of different ray species including the local friendly stingrays on an adventurous boat ride to Honeymoon Harbour where guests can also enjoy the gorgeous beaches and lighthouse on Gun Cay.

• Sunset Beach Picnic – A romantic picnic on the beach awaits couples looking for a secluded experience while enjoying the sunset and blue Bahamian sea over a bottle of wine and picnic basket of snacks.

Starting November 2019, four MSC Cruises ships will call at Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve on different days - MSC Meraviglia, MSC Seaside, MSC Divina and MSC Armonia.

AIDA Cruises Pioneering Cruise Industry's First-Ever Trial of Fuel Cell Technology
Germany-based brand, AIDA Cruises, has partnered with leaders from the maritime and engineering sectors to pilot the world's first fuel cell system designed to power large passenger vessels. As early as 2021, AIDA Cruises will trial this innovative fuel technology on AIDAnova, becoming the cruise industry's first brand to trial fuel cells on a large cruise ship.

The research project, named "Pa-X-ell2," is designed to develop fuel cells that are powered by hydrogen derived from methanol, with the potential to supply power to cruise ships at even lower emissions levels than liquefied natural gas (LNG), the world's cleanest burning fossil fuel. Designed by Freudenberg Sealing Technologies, the fuel cells are expected to have a longer lifecycle than those currently being developed for automobiles, with early trials on land showing a lifespan of over 35,000 operating hours.

Developed as a hybrid energy system for use in cruise ships, the fuel cells will be designed to enable benefits beyond significantly lower emissions, including operating with lower noise and vibration. In the future there is the potential for the required methanol to be produced from renewable energy sources.

Funded by Germany's Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, the Pa-X-ell2 research project will include AIDA Cruises, represented by Carnival Corporation's Hamburg-based Carnival Maritime GmbH, Freudenberg Sealing Technologies, the Meyer Werft shipyard and other partners.

"With the first-time use of fuel cells onboard an oceangoing cruise ship, we will reach another important milestone on our journey to emission-neutral cruising," said Felix Eichhorn, president of AIDA Cruises. "Our goal is continue to show concrete solutions for achieving our climate targets."

As part of Carnival Corporation's innovative "green cruising" strategy, the fuel cell pilot is the most recent in an ongoing series of environmental initiatives and major technological advances for the company's AIDA Cruises brand. Last month, the brand signed an agreement to install a first-of-its-kind lithium-ion battery power system on its AIDAperla ship in 2020, which will be the world's largest battery storage system ever on a passenger ship, capable of generating a total output of 10-megawatt hours to help electrify the ship's propulsion and operation for periods of time.

In December 2018, AIDA Cruises made history with the introduction of the world's first cruise ship capable of being powered in port and at sea by liquefied natural gas (LNG), the world's cleanest burning fossil fuel. The introduction of LNG to power cruise ships is a major achievement in green cruising that supports the company's environmental goals with the virtual total elimination of sulfur dioxide emissions (zero emissions) and particulate matter (95% to 100% reduction). The use of LNG will also substantially reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides and carbon dioxide.

In total, Carnival Corporation has an additional 10 next-generation LNG cruise ships on order, including Costa Smeralda, which will be the second of the corporation's ships to be powered by LNG when it joins the Costa Cruises fleet this fall.

The company is also pioneering the use of Advanced Air Quality Systems, often referred to as exhaust gas cleaning systems, or "scrubbers." As of July 2019, Advanced Air Quality Systems have been installed on 77 of the more than 100 ships in the Carnival Corporation fleet. The systems remove almost all of sulfur oxide emissions, 75% of all particulate matter and reduce nitrogen oxide emissions.

AIDA Cruises' newest ship, AIDAnova, was recently named the first-ever cruise ship to be awarded the Blue Angel certification by Germany's Federal Ministry for the Environment for its environmentally friendly ship design. Since 2000, every ship built for AIDA Cruises has "cold ironing" or shore power capabilities, which allow for connecting directly into the land-based electrical grid while in port where the infrastructure is available. With "cold ironing," the air emissions are managed and regulated under the emission control requirements at the power plant supplying the port. By the end of 2020, at least 12 of AIDA's 14 ships will be able to use shore power wherever it is available. Since 2017, AIDAsol has been using the shore power plant in Hamburg-Altona, Germany, for its regular operations.

In addition, AIDA is also exploring the use of CO2-free production of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from renewable sources through its "Power to Gas" project or the use of fuel cells in cruise shipping. By the end of 2023, 94% of all AIDA guests will travel on ships that can be fully powered by low-emission LNG or shore power where possible.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 42.04 + 2.76%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 107.96 + 5.22%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.88 - 1.12%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 49.33 + 1.59%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
When the Seabourn Spirit was attacked by pirates off the coast of Somalia several years ago, it used an innovative technology to help repel the pirates. What was the technology called and how does it work?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Name the two converted liners that engaged in the first, and last, wartime confrontation between ocean liners.

Answer - Cunard's Carmania and Hamburg-South America's Cap Trafalgar exchanged nerly 1,000 rounds before the Cap Trafalgar eventually sank on September 13, 1914.
courtesy of Tim Flanagan, Miami, FL.


Cruise News - October 7, 2019

Princess Cruises Reveals Name of Sixth Royal-Class Ship
The name of the sixth Royal-Class cruise ship for Princess Cruises was revealed today – Discovery Princess. The fastest growing international premium cruise line also announced the largest inaugural launch program ever with worldwide itineraries offered onboard Discovery Princess to Europe, the Caribbean, South America, Mexico and the California Coast for the 2021/2022 cruise season. Discovery Princess will be the first-ever new cruise ship for Princess Cruises to be based on the West Coast, sailing out of Los Angeles.

Designed from the ground up as a Princess MedallionClass ship, the 143,700-ton, 3,660-passenger Discovery Princess is currently under construction at the Fincantieri Shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy. The ship will feature an evolution of the design platform used for the cruise line's previous Royal-Class ships. Discovery Princess is scheduled to debut on Nov. 3, 2021, on a seven-day Mediterranean & Aegean inaugural cruise from Rome (Civitavecchia) to Athens.

With cruise vacations open for sale Oct. 8, 2019, Discovery Princess will sail on destination-rich itineraries to the Mediterranean, Caribbean and South America before arriving in Los Angeles for her West Coast debut, sailing to Mexico and the California Coast.

"Discovery Princess will take our guests on the most memorable vacations of their lifetime introducing them to new sights, new cultures, and new experiences onboard every voyage," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. "Discovery is both an expression of our brand as well as an important aspect of our guest experience. We know Discovery Princess will offer our guests cruise vacations that create memories they will cherish for a lifetime and we're proud to mark a major milestone basing our newest ship on the West Coast."

The inaugural season of Discovery Princess includes 30 departures on 21 unique itineraries to more than 50 destinations in 23 countries, including several holiday sailings offering the perfect celebration vacation. Highlights include:

Mediterranean: Eight itinerary options in the Mediterranean, sailing to 19 destinations in eight countries, and ranging in length from seven to 21 days. Guests can choose to sail from Rome, Athens or Barcelona. More Ashore late-night calls are offered in Barcelona, Genoa (Milan), and Mykonos on select itineraries. Cruise departure dates: Nov. 3, 10, 17 and 24, 2021.

Caribbean: Six holiday voyages, ranging from four, eight or 16 days, cruising to eight destinations in seven countries visiting the Eastern Caribbean with a new port of call in Tortula and Southern Caribbean sailing to all three ABC islands. Cruise departure dates: Dec. 9, 13, 21, 29, 2021.

South America: Sailing to 22 destinations in 11 countries on six departures, including a 50-day voyage from Ft. Lauderdale to Los Angeles. More Ashore late night calls include Rio de Janeiro (overnight), Buenos Aires and Lima (overnight). Departure dates: Jan. 6, 24, Feb. 7, 2022.

Mexico and the California Coast: Discovery Princess makes her West Coast debut in Los Angeles on March 1, 2022. Guests can set sail to the sunny beaches of Mexico on a 5-day cruise with an overnight stay in Cabo San Lucas or on a 7-day Mexican Riveria cruise. Guest can then enjoy the beauty of the scenic California coastline on a 7-day Classic California Coast with More Ashore in San Francisco and San Diego including the unique experiences of sailing under the famed Golden Gate Bridge. Departure dates: March 1, 6, 13, April 3, 10, and May 1, 2022.

Princess past guests are eligible for a special promotion when booking early. A reduced deposit of 10% is available through February 29, 2020. In addition, those guests booking the 50-day South America Connoisseur voyage will receive onboard credit, complimentary gratuities and complimentary Wi-Fi.

MSC Meraviglia Makes Her North American Debut
MSC Meraviglia — MSC Cruises' first Meraviglia Class smart ship — made her inaugural visit to North American shores today, arriving at Manhattan Pier in New York City. With a double occupancy capacity of 4,488 and gross tonnage of 171,598 GRT, MSC Meraviglia is MSC Cruises' largest ship sailing from the U.S and sets the record for the largest ship to ever port in Manhattan. As she continues sailings along the east coast, MSC Meraviglia will also be the largest ship ever to call Boston, Mass., as well as Portland and Bar Harbor, Maine.

"We are so thrilled to welcome MSC Meraviglia, a truly beautiful ship, to the U.S. as she marks another major milestone for MSC Cruises in the North American market," said Ken Muskat, EVP & Chief Operating Officer of MSC Cruises (USA). "Due to significant demand, for the first time in MSC Cruises history we now have four distinct ships sailing in the region as MSC Meraviglia joins MSC Seaside, MSC Armonia and MSC Divina. With each ship offering its own unique design and guest experience inspired by our European heritage, we look forward to providing travelers with even more choice and variety to best fit their vacation needs."

MSC Meraviglia's On Board Features

With a name meaning wonder, MSC Meraviglia boasts an innovative and glamorous design that showcases MSC Cruises' signature European style. The ship's two-story Mediterranean-style promenade is lined with a variety of shops and specialty restaurants — including HOLA! Tapas Bar and Ocean Cay, restaurants by two Michelin-starred Spanish chef Ramón Freixa, and Jean-Philippe Chocolat & Café, an open fronted chocolate atelier by world-renowned pastry chef, Jean Philippe Maury.

Entertainment is available around-the-clock with enriching activities for all ages. In addition to six different full-scale theatrical productions every night in the main theater, guests are also able to enjoy two distinct Cirque du Soleil at Sea shows, VIAGGIO and SONOR — created exclusively for MSC Meraviglia in a purpose-built entertainment and dining venue, the Carousel Lounge. Immersive kids and family programs include a winter-themed aqua park with four water slides, a Himalayan bridge suspending cruisers high up above the ship, an interactive XD cinema, two full size bowling lanes and multiple LEGO-designed kids clubs.

Those looking for exclusivity and privacy – while still enjoying all the amenities and choice offered on a larger ship – can book their stay within the MSC Yacht Club, MSC Cruises' all-inclusive 'ship-within-a-ship' concept, featuring private amenities and 24-hour butler service.

Launched in June 2017, MSC Meraviglia was MSC Cruises first next-generation innovative ship to feature MSC for Me, a multi-channel digital program designed to help guests get the most out of their vacation. By simply using an app, interactive displays and in-stateroom TV, guests are able to effortlessly book services, find information, plan activities, stay connected with friends and family and easily navigate around the ship.

MSC Meraviglia North American Itineraries and Experiences Ashore

Designed to sail in all seasons and climates, the glamorous MSC Meraviglia will begin her North American journey with three sailing from NYC, including two itineraries to New England and Canada and one repositioning to her new homeport in Miami. On her first Caribbean sailing, departing from NYC on October 28, MSC Meraviglia will be the first ship to call on Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, MSC Cruises' new breathtaking private island destination in the Bahamas opening November 9, 2019.

With endless sweeping vistas of crystal blue waters and over two miles of pristine beachfront across eight white sandy beaches, Ocean Cay is the ideal getaway for guests to escape their busy daily lives and discover nature's pure, untouched beauty. Exclusively for MSC Cruises' guests, MSC Meraviglia will dock at Ocean Cay from early morning until late evening, giving guests plenty of time to soak up the spirit of The Bahamas and enjoy the day as they wish. Island experiences span a range of activities including shore excursions designed to discover the marine life close up, such as snorkeling, stand up paddle boarding, and kayaking; luxurious spa treatments; shopping areas with authentic Bahamian arts and crafts by local artisans; and one of a kind night events such as traditional Junkanoo parades, lighthouse light shows, and beachside stargazing.

With MSC Meraviglia's arrival in North America, she will also now feature MSC Cruises' partnership with home and lifestyle expert Martha Stewart, which launched earlier in 2019 on all Caribbean sailings. The exclusive Martha Stewart and MSC Cruises partnership includes celebration surprise gift packages, onboard special holiday dinner menus and recipes, and specially curated shore excursions featuring some of Martha's favorite activities and allowing guests to learn the local culture of the destination they are visiting.

From November 10, 2019 through April 5, 2020, MSC Meraviglia will sail two different 7-night western Caribbean itineraries visiting ports in Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, Mexico, Belize, Honduras and The Bahamas. Sample itineraries include:

• January 12, 2019: 7-night sailing visiting Ocho Rios, Jamaica; Georgetown, Cayman Islands; Cozumel, Mexico; Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, Bahamas. Prices start at $629 per person for a balcony stateroom.

• February 16, 2019: 7-night sailing visiting Miami, Florida; Isla de Rotan, Honduras; Belize City, Belize; Costa Maya, Mexico; Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, Bahamas; Miami,

Following her inaugural season in Miami, MSC Meraviglia will then return to Northern Europe for summer 2020 (April – October). Upon returning to the U.S. in October 2020, MSC Meraviglia will once again do three 10-night sailings from New York to Canada & New England before then homeporting back in Miami for 7-night Caribbean sailings.

Carnival Cruise Line To Resume Calls To Grand Bahama On Friday
Carnival Cruise Line announced today that it will resume regular calls to Grand Bahama beginning this Friday, Oct. 11, when Carnival Pride will dock in Freeport. Carnival Elation will follow on Sunday, Oct. 13 and Carnival Freedom on Tuesday, Oct. 15.

Carnival Pride departed Baltimore on Sunday, Oct. 6 on a week-long cruise with nearly 2,400 guests. All told between now and the end of the year, Carnival Cruise Line expects to host 39 calls in Freeport, bringing more than 100,000 visitors to the destination and providing a significant impact to the local economy. For the full year, over 400,000 guests will visit Grand Bahama on a Carnival cruise vacation aboard 10 different ships sailing from nine different U.S. homeports.

"Carnival Cruise Line is proud to be such a big year-round supporter for cruise tourism to Freeport so we are very excited to provide our guests the opportunity to again visit this popular destination," said Terry Thornton, Carnival's senior vice president of nautical and port operations. "Cruise ship visits are important to the local economy and our shore excursion team has been working closely with local tour operators and has confirmed a variety of attractive onshore excursions for our guests."

More than 15 shore excursions will be offered, including The All Inclusive Beach Club; A Select Retreat with Beach and Water Toys; and the VIP Luxury Sail, to name just a few.

Added Senator James Kwasi Malik Thompson, minister of state for Grand Bahama, "The rebuilding of Grand Bahama has begun. We welcome the return of Carnival Cruise Line back to Grand Bahama after Hurricane Dorian. Carnival is an incredible partner for the Bahamas and Grand Bahama."

On Monday, Carnival Ecstasy arrived in Freeport to undergo an extensive 12-day dry dock at the Grand Bahama shipyard, becoming the first cruise ship to utilize the facility since Hurricane Dorian.

The company's relief efforts include a $2 million pledge from Carnival Corporation and the Micky and Madeleine Arison Family Foundation, as well as relief shipments delivered by Carnival Cruise Line ships and via a partnership with Tropical Shipping. Carnival employees and guests have also donated well over $500,000 through online giving tools and collections on embarkation day and onboard.

Oceania Cruises Debuts New Aquamar Spa + Vitality Center
Oceania Cruises debuted the Aquamar Spa + Vitality Center today, the most unique and comprehensive spa and wellness center at sea, which will be introduced across all of its six ships this winter. As part of the brand's continued OceaniaNEXT enhancements, the Aquamar Spa + Vitality Center extends well beyond a traditional spa, offering a complete and original collection of holistic wellness encounters both on board and ashore that supports all dimensions of wellness while encouraging a lifestyle of health and longevity.

"Our guests love balance – they're active, they're leading rich and fulfilled lives. For them, wellness is not a pursuit, it's a lifestyle," stated Bob Binder, President and Chief Executive Officer for Oceania Cruises. "People are not just living longer, they are living healthier and better and that's why Aquamar Spa + Vitality Center is the perfect fit for the Oceania Cruises guest."

Drawing on inspiration from the fundamental benefits of travel and discovery as well as guest input, Aquamar Spa + Vitality Center was created from top to bottom by Oceania Cruises and offers an array of wellness encounters designed to enhance the guest experience and encourage personal renewal. From rejuvenating treatments and Aquamar Vitality Cuisine to Wellness Discovery Tours by Aquamar, all have been uniquely curated to encompass the brand's core pillars: the finest cuisine at sea, alluring destinations and intimate and luxurious ships.

Aquamar Spa + Vitality Center helps guests attain an enriching balance and live life to the fullest through a range of programs and services that support all dimensions of wellness – from restorative body treatments to nourishing menu choices and enlightening adventures ashore.

RESTORE & RENEW | Rejuvenating Treatments & Medi-Spa Services

Restorative Himalayan Salt Stone Massage
This deeply restorative massage calls on Himalayan salt stones, which improve mental alertness and overall well-being. Warm salt stones are bathed in personally selected aromatics and diffuse negative energy, reduce stress and alleviate muscle tension.

Acupuncture
One of the fastest growing alternative therapies, acupuncture can complement and enhance the benefits of traditional medicine. An onboard acupuncturist is certified to effectively treat an array of symptoms and conditions such as insomnia, weight gain, anxiety and pain management.

Dysport Wrinkle Treatments
Soften fine lines and wrinkles on the upper face for a refreshed, youthful appearance. Smoother-looking skin is visible within days and lasts up to four months.

ENRICH | Lifestyle Seminars & Wellness Discovery Tours by Aquamar

Reflexologist on Rice Barge | Bangkok Thailand
While cruising the calm waters of Bangkok's Chao Phraya River on a historical, wooden rice barge, guests will benefit from reflexology, a foot therapy thought to enhance relaxation and reduce pain. A traditional reflexologist will gently apply pressure to the feet, following a foot chart that details the corresponding organs and body systems.

Wellness & Mindfulness at Viña Casa Marin | Santiago de Chile (San Antonio), Chile

This unique experience pairs yoga, pranayama breathing and mindful meditation with a gourmet luncheon at a picturesque boutique winery, Viña Casa Marin, where guests will also learn about its history and micro-terroirs.

The Wonders of Apitherapy | Seville (Cádiz), Spain

At a beekeeping farm in the picturesque Andalusian countryside, guests will discover the myriad advantages of apitherapy, which focuses on the many benefits of honeybee products, such as raw honey, pollen, royal jelly and even bee venom. The resident apitherapy specialist will illustrate the benefits of each product, from boosting the immune system to alleviating pain.

NOURISH | Aquamar Vitality Cuisine

Guests can enjoy healthy and flavorful Aquamar Vitality Cuisine in The Grand Dining Room in addition to extensive plant-based and vegetarian dishes. Freshly pressed juices, smoothies and energy bowls are also served at the only cold-pressed Raw Juice & Smoothie Bars at sea. Sample dishes include:

Breakfast
Green apple müesli with pistachios, pecans and yellow raisins
Avocado toast on rustic farmer's bread

Lunch
Wakame sesame salad
Hawaiian poke bowl

Dinner
Som tam green papaya kelp noodle salad
Roasted butternut squash with arugula, mango, black radish and hearts of palm

ENERGIZE | Fitness Classes & Personal Training
Complimentary fitness classes, access to the state-of-the-art fitness center and the option of customized personal training sessions make it easy to feel fit and fulfilled at sea. Sample complimentary fitness classes include yoga, Pilates, cycling and circuit-based training.

Aquamar Spa + Vitality Center will be implemented on each of Oceania Cruises' ships on the following cruises:

Riviera | December 5, 2019
Sirena | December 7, 2019
Nautica | December 7, 2019
Regatta | January 6, 2020
Insignia | January 8, 2020 Marina | January 22, 2020

Cunard Announces Alaska Itineraries Roundtrip from Victoria, BC
Cunard has announced three additional opportunities for guests to sail roundtrip from Victoria, BC, Canada on some of the company's 2020 Alaska itineraries.

As the capital of British Columbia, Victoria sits on the southern end of Vancouver Island and is known for Butchart Gardens, Hatley Castle, and a picturesque downtown with colorful Victorian architecture and charming pubs. The city has a lot to offer passengers who want to spend time there either before or after their voyage.

New roundtrip 2020 voyages out of Victoria on Queen Elizabeth include (fares are per person, based on double occupancy):

• A 12-night Alaska voyage (Q020F), July 8-20, 2020, calling at Vancouver, Sitka, Glacier Bay National Park, Anchorage, Kodiak, Seward and College Fjord.

• A 10-night Alaska voyage (Q021A), July 20-30, 2020, calling at Vancouver, Juneau, Skagway, Hubbard Glacier, Sitka and Ketchikan.

• A three-night getaway cruise (Q020E) from San Francisco to Victoria, July 5-8, 2020, with a call in Astoria, Oregon.

The above voyages are in addition to the Alaska itineraries, roundtrip out of Victoria, which Cunard launched earlier this year:

• An 11-night voyage (Q022B), July 30-August 10, 2020, calling at Vancouver, Glacier Bay National Park, Skagway, Sitka, Hubbard Glacier, Icy Strait Point, Juneau and Ketchikan. Fares start at $1,499.

• A 9-night voyage, August 10-19, 2020 (Q023A), calling at Vancouver, Tracy Arm Fjord, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay National Park, and Sitka.

• A 9-night voyage (Q024A), August 19-28, 2020, calling at Vancouver, Tracy Arm Fjord, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay National Park, Sitka and Ketchikan.

• A 10-night voyage (Q025A), August 28-Sept 7, 2020, calling at Juneau, Sitka, Hubbard Glacier, Icy Strait Point, Glacier Bay National Park, and Ketchikan.

"We are excited to offer our guests this new option of sailing roundtrip into Alaska from Victoria," said Josh Leibowitz, SVP Cunard North America. "After a successful launch of four roundtrip Victoria voyages in July, we have decided to add three additional voyages to meet our guests' demand. Victoria is one of Canada's top-rated destinations and this will give passengers extra time in port to explore the city pre- and post-cruise."

Cunard is doubling its Alaska program in 2020, spending a full season in the region from June through September with ten voyages ranging from nine to twelve nights. In addition to scenic cruising through the Inside Passage, Queen Elizabeth will visit the stunning Glacier Bay National Park, as well as spend full days in several ports to discover the history and culture of the area.

Carnival Corporation Breaks Ground on New Cruise Terminal in Sasebo, Japan
Carnival Corporation, today officially began construction of the cruise industry's first cruise terminal in Japan, located at the port of Sasebo, with a groundbreaking ceremony attended by government, business and community representatives. In attendance for Carnival Corporation were Remco Buis, senior vice president port operations and development, and Paul Chong, vice president of business development for Carnival Asia, as well as representatives from the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), and the city of Sasebo.

As part of a strategic partnership agreement signed in March 2018 with the city of Sasebo and MLIT Japan, Carnival Corporation will construct and operate the new terminal, expected to open in summer 2020. The partners in the Sasebo development project are working together on an efficient, contemporary design for the terminal to accommodate the corporation's existing and newest ships. Under the 20-year agreement, Carnival Corporation and its cruise line brands will be granted berthing preference, enabling them to provide guests with optimized cruise itineraries when visiting the port.

"As the cruise industry's first terminal in Japan, this groundbreaking is a historic day for all of us at Carnival Corporation and for our partners in this exciting project," said Michael Thamm, group CEO, Costa Group and Carnival Asia. "This new terminal will complement our strong presence in the Asia-Pacific region and furthers our commitment to help facilitate the rising demand for cruise vacations in the region, enabling even more people from around the world to discover why Japan is such an extraordinary destination, one that many of our guests have long enjoyed. And as our company's first cruise terminal investment in Japan, we are excited to mark the start of our long-term relationship. We are actively working on future investment opportunities to help further support growth and expand the Japanese cruise industry for years to come."

Japan's ports have witnessed exceptional growth over the past few years, and cruising continues to increase in popularity in Asia. The company will continue to work with Japan's government and MLIT to identify potential additional port development opportunities and future investments in the country.

Japan is a popular destination for seven of Carnival Corporation's cruise line brands, including AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard, Holland America Line, P&O Cruises (UK), Princess Cruises and Seabourn. Overall, Carnival Corporation is expecting to accommodate an estimated 2 million passenger movements in the market in 2019, with nearly 800 calls from 15 ships from the company's cruise line brands to over 50 ports in Japan.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 40.91 - 6.41%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 102.60 - 5.29%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.89 - 2.20%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 48.56+ - 6.20%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Name the two converted liners that engaged in the first, and last, wartime confrontation between ocean liners.

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which former Atlantic liner ended her long career being subjected to partial flooding and numerous explosions as she served as a floating prop in the 1959 MGM film The Last Voyage?

Answer - The ship was the Ile de France from 1927. The only good thing about this picture was that people who did not sail her could see her beautiful interiors. The French were very upset and I guess I would have been as well.
courtesy of Bill Forsstrom in Cincinnati


Cruise News - September 30, 2019

Norwegian Encore Sails in Open Water for the First Time
Norwegian Cruise Line today announced that its newest innovative ship, Norwegian Encore, successfully completed another major construction milestone, when she departed the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany and sailed down the Ems River towards the North Sea.

On Monday, Sept. 30, 2019, Norwegian Encore began her conveyance to Eemshaven, Netherlands, with initial crew members on board already preparing to welcome her first guests this November. At nearly 1,100 feet long, with a gross tonnage of almost 170,000 and a guest capacity of 3,998, the ship will be delivered to the cruise line on Oct. 30, 2019. She will be christened by Grammy Award-winning artist Kelly Clarkson in Miami on Nov. 21, 2019 and will commence seven-day voyages to the Caribbean on Nov. 24, 2019.

“Today we celebrate a huge milestone for our history-making ship,” said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. “Now is when the anticipation truly begins to build. Our partners at Meyer Werft have collaborated with us to bring the industry-leading experiences from the successful Breakaway Plus class ships to Norwegian Encore, making her truly the best in class.”

Taking the brand’s exclusive, stand-out attractions to the next level, Norwegian Encore will feature the world’s longest race track at sea at 1,100 feet with four high-speed curves extending up to 13 feet over the side of the ship; the largest outdoor laser tag arena at nearly 10,000 square feet with the addition of augmented reality elements; and new immersive escape room and interactive theatre experiences in the 10,000-square-foot Galaxy Pavilion.

In addition to featuring many of the highly rated restaurants and lounges that have made the Breakaway Plus class one of the most innovative and successful in the company’s history, Norwegian Encore will debut a new elevated Italian dining experience, Onda by Scarpetta, in collaboration with LDV Hospitality. The Tony Award-winning musical, “Kinky Boots” will headline the world-class entertainment on board, with returning guest favorites “The Choir of Man,” “Happy Hour Prohibition: The Musical” and the rocking Beatles cover band of The Cavern Club.

As part of a recent partnership with JUST Goods, Inc., Norwegian Encore will be the first ship in the Company to be plastic bottle free when she debuts. By Jan. 1, 2020 Norwegian Cruise Line will be the first major cruise line to eliminate plastic bottles across its entire fleet, a significant effort towards providing guests with more sustainable options at sea.

Launching this fall, Norwegian Encore will offer seven-day voyages to the Eastern Caribbean from Miami beginning Nov. 24, 2019; Bermuda, and Canada and New England itineraries from New York City beginning Apr. 22, 2020; and voyages to the Western Caribbean from Miami beginning Dec. 12, 2020. In the spring of 2021, she will make her West Coast debut and sail to Alaska from Seattle.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises To Debut New Serene Spa & Wellness Fleetwide
Regent Seven Seas Cruises today introduced a new globally inspired spa brand that will debut across its five-ship fleet this winter. Serene Spa & Wellness will offer exclusive treatments integrating techniques and ingredients from destinations around the world, creating a tranquil haven of health, beauty and wellness that offers restorative treatments and services to soothe both the body and mind.

The groundbreaking menu of services reflects treatments originating from many of the 450 destinations to which the cruise line sails, and includes globally renowned ELEMIS facial therapies, body treatments, massages, manicures, pedicures, luxury Kérastase salon services, fitness classes, and personal training, plus a series of wellness tours and nutritionally mindful cuisine selections served in restaurants on board.

"Regent is deeply inspired by the peace and serenity that can be found in every region of our globe, and we are bringing the beautiful traditions and tried-and-true techniques of the world's cultures into the exclusive experiences of Serene Spa & Wellness through spa treatments, cuisine and captivating shore excursions," said Jason Montague, president and CEO of Regent Seven Seas Cruises. "We originally developed this innovative experience for Seven Seas Splendor in our pursuit to perfect luxury for our newest ship, and then decided to expand Serene Spa & Wellness for guests to embark on a global journey of relaxation on all Regent ships. Serene Spa & Wellness will set a new benchmark in luxury spas at sea."

Experience the best of destination-inspired body and beauty treatments Serene Spa & Wellness integrates globally sourced, natural ingredients that promote health and balance for the body, mind and spirit. In addition to traditional spa services, examples of globally inspired techniques and treatments offered exclusively at Serene Spa & Wellness on Regent Seven Seas Cruises include:

• The Regent Massage. (Destination Inspiration: Sea Buckthorn from the Mediterranean coast) This bespoke full-body therapy features a synergy of rosemary, sea fennel and sea buckthorn from the Mediterranean coastlines worked into areas of tension to ease and soothe muscles while helping to detoxify. Warm eucalyptus-infused paraffin mitts and boots enhance this signature experience, deeply nourishing and hydrating hands and feet.

• Around The World Massage. (Destination Inspirations: Basalt from China, Coconut Poultice from Caribbean, Bamboo from Asia) Fusing techniques from the corners of the world, this choreographed therapy is one of optimal wellness: the earthly scents of Indian cardamom, Egyptian coriander and eucalyptus soothe the mind; Swedish massage movements work freely throughout the body to relax; volcanic rocks release muscle tension and stagnant energy in the legs; bamboo stalks glide over muscles to deeply alleviate discomfort; warmed coconut poultices are delicately worked over the face, neck and shoulders; and argan oil from Morocco conditions the scalp.

• Sea Lavender & Samphire Body Polish. (Destination Inspiration: Samphire from Northern Europe) Hydrate skin with a nourishing, exfoliation duo. Nutrient-rich extracts from sea lavender and samphire smooth parched, dry skin cells while a moisturizing milk of macadamia nut and sea salt moisturize to allow a thirsty skin to replenish. This lavish body experience includes half or full-body massage.

• Deep Sea Heat Mask & Massage. (Destination Inspiration: Bladderwrack Seaweed from Baltic Coast) Recharge your body with a detoxifying treatment designed to alleviate deep-seated tension and muscular distress. Rich in minerals and trace elements, an aromatic, warm mask with potent algae from the Baltic Sea is applied on to the back to release tension and ease aches and pains while a back or full-body massage relaxes the body.

• Calming Rose Facial. (Destination Inspiration: Hand-picked Organic English Roses from the United Kingdom) Comfort sensitive skin with a natural blend of delicate rose absolute to intensely hydrate the dermis. Luxuriously indulgent, precious rose extracts smooth fine lines, strengthening and protecting the skin's barrier. A warm rose balm is massaged onto the hands and arms to induce relaxation. Skin is left feeling soothed and replenished with a petal softness.

• Kérastase Elixir Ultime 24-Carat Indulgent Ritual. (Destination Inspiration: Rose from Morocco) This indulgent hair ritual nourishes, protects and instantly restores hair. Relax with the aromatic scent of rose during a luxurious treatment in which camellia and marula oils and white tea extracts are massaged deep into the scalp. This highly concentrated experience provides a sublime transformation, leaving hair silky, weightless and beautiful.

• Regent Manicure and Pedicure. (Destination Inspiration: Frangipani from the South Pacific) Hands and feet are soaked in a hydrating milk protein while a vitamin-rich oil strengthens nails and cuticles. Warmed frangipani oil is massaged to further replenish moisture. Includes filing, cuticles and polish.

Serene Spa & Wellness services extend beyond the physical spa venue:

• Fitness experts at Fitness by Serene Spa & Wellness lead popular exercise classes, such as Pilates, yoga and meditation and are available to offer advice and demonstrate the use of fitness equipment. Equipment includes spinning bikes, dumbbells, treadmills, Technogym strength machines, workout mats and step benches. One-on-one training can be arranged with a fitness instructor.

• Savor the best of world cuisine with Serene Spa & Wellness Selections in many restaurants on board. Drawn from a globally inspired approach to healthy living, these culinary dishes are as flavorful as they are nutritious. An extensive array of innovative options is available in restaurants across Regent's fleet, featuring exquisite dishes influenced by a myriad of global fares including delectable plant-based cuisine.

• Serene Spa & Wellness Tours offer curated shore excursions designed to enhance wellness through immersive experiences. Soak in a restorative, mineral-rich thermal spring in Rome or experience a taiji (tai chi) class on a beautiful and serene beach on Palma de Mallorca. Guests can refresh with a Mediterranean breeze as they calm their mind and strengthen their focus through a yoga class overlooking the seaside town of Taormina.

• Experience the healing, detoxifying and tension-releasing power of the European-inspired Serene Spa & Wellness Hydrothermal Suite, exclusive to Seven Seas Splendor and Seven Seas Explorer. Relax before or after spa treatments and enjoy Regent's multisensory aromatherapy steam room, chill room, infrared sauna and experiential showers.

Serene Spa & Wellness will launch on each Regent ship during these voyages:

• Seven Seas Explorer - Dec. 7, 2019 voyage

• Seven Seas Mariner - Jan. 6, 2020 voyage

• Seven Seas Voyager - Jan. 7, 2020 voyage

• Seven Seas Navigator - Jan. 23, 2020 voyage

• Seven Seas Splendor - Feb. 6, 2020 voyage

Disney Cruise Line Announces Return to New Orleans
In early 2021, Disney Cruise Line will return to New Orleans for a limited-time engagement with sailings to the Bahamas and Caribbean, including visits to Disney's private island paradise, Castaway Cay. A lineup of popular itineraries will continue across the Disney fleet with cruises to tropical destinations from Texas, California and Florida.

Return to New Orleans
Back by popular demand, the Disney Wonder will return to the bayou from late January through February 2021 with a series of magical voyages. A pair of four- and five-night cruises to the Western Caribbean kick off the season from New Orleans. The five-night voyage includes a visit to Progreso, Mexico, a new port of call for Disney Cruise Line on the Yucatan Peninsula. This quaint town is filled with treasures for families to explore together, from ancient Mayan ruins to hidden swimming holes filled with crystal-clear water.

Three seven-night sailings to the Bahamas with a stop at Castaway Cay, plus a 14-night Panama Canal cruise, round out the departures from the Crescent City in early 2021.

Guests sailing from New Orleans will experience the flavors and flair of the Big Easy both onboard the Disney Wonder and ashore. The sounds and sights of New Orleans come to life at Tiana's Place restaurant, where families are transported to an era of southern charm, spirited jazz and street party celebrations with live music and other surprises inspired by the Disney animated film "The Princess and the Frog." Before or after their cruise, guests can savor the city's distinct cuisine, visit family-friendly museums and parks, and take in the sounds of world-renowned live jazz music.

Popular Itineraries from Texas and California
The Disney Wonder will also return to the popular home ports of Galveston and San Diego in early 2021. Guests sailing from Texas can enjoy the white-sand beaches of the Western Caribbean on a series of four- and six-night cruises to Grand Cayman and Cozumel. One seven-night departure will feature stops at Key West, Nassau and Castaway Cay.

Following the season in New Orleans, the Disney Wonder heads to the West Coast for a variety of sailings to Baja and the Mexican Riviera departing from San Diego. Families can hunt for gold aboard a pirate ship in Cabo San Lucas, embark on an off-road adventure in Ensenada or sunbathe on glittering sand beaches on cruises ranging from three to seven nights.

Bahamian and Caribbean Getaways from Florida
Disney Cruise Line will have three ships sailing to the Bahamas and Caribbean from Florida in early 2021, and every cruise includes a day at Disney's private island paradise, Castaway Cay. This award-winning destination, reserved exclusively for Disney Cruise Line guests, is the ultimate escape for everyone in the family. A day at Castaway Cay offers opportunities for adventure and relaxation in a lush, tropical setting filled with classic Disney storytelling.

• From Miami, the Disney Magic will sail three-, four- and five-night Bahamian and Western Caribbean cruises.

• From Port Canaveral, the Disney Fantasy will sail seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries.

• From Port Canaveral, the Disney Dream will sail three- and four-night Bahamian cruises.

With a variety of options from Florida, guests can experience spectacular cruises full of fun and relaxation – featuring Broadway-style shows, immersive themed dining, imaginative kids clubs, character encounters and spaces for everyone in the family.

Carnival Corporation & plc Reports Record Third Quarter Earnings
Carnival Corporation & plc announced financial results for the third quarter ended August 31, 2019 and provided an outlook for the full year, fourth quarter 2019 and 2020.

Key Highlights

• U.S. GAAP net income of $1.8 billion, or $2.58 diluted EPS, for the third quarter of 2019, higher than U.S. GAAP net income for the third quarter of 2018 of $1.7 billion, or $2.41 diluted EPS.

• Third quarter 2019 adjusted net income of $1.8 billion, or $2.63 adjusted EPS, higher than adjusted net income of $1.7 billion, or $2.36 adjusted EPS, for the third quarter of 2018.

• Adjusted net income excludes net charges of $39 million for the third quarter of 2019 and net gains of $34 million for the third quarter of 2018.

• Total revenues for the third quarter of 2019 were $6.5 billion, higher than the $5.8 billion in the prior year.
Gross cruise revenues of $6.3 billion compared to $5.7 billion for the prior year.
In constant currency, net cruise revenues of $5.0 billion compared to $4.7 billion for the prior year, an increase of 5.3 percent.

Carnival said that it expects full year 2019 adjusted earnings per share to be in the range of $4.23 to $4.27, reflecting recent fuel price increases, compared to June guidance of $4.25 to $4.35 and 2018 adjusted earnings per share of $4.26.

Third Quarter 2019 Results

Key information for the third quarter of 2019 compared to the third quarter of 2018:

• Gross revenue yields (revenue per available lower berth day or "ALBD") increased 5.6 percent. In constant currency, net revenue yields decreased 0.5 percent, in line with June guidance of down slightly to flat.

• Gross cruise costs including fuel per ALBD increased 9.4 percent. In constant currency, net cruise costs excluding fuel per ALBD decreased 3.2 percent, better than June guidance of up 0.5 to 1.5 percent, due to the timing of expenses between quarters and cost improvements realized during the quarter.

• Changes in fuel prices increased earnings by $0.07 per share, offset by a decrease in earnings due to changes in currency exchange rates of $0.07 per share compared to the prior year. Compared to June guidance, changes in fuel prices and currency exchange rates decreased earnings by $0.03 per share.

Highlights from the third quarter included Carnival Cruise Line's partnership with Thrillist to create Island Hoppers, the first-ever comedy competition show at sea. Princess Cruises announced Phantom Bridge, a first-of-its-kind game combining digital and physical elements for the ultimate immersive escape room, which will launch onboard Sky Princess and Enchanted Princess. AIDAnova was the first-ever cruise ship to be awarded the prestigious Blue Angel certification for excellence in environmentally friendly ship design by Germany's Federal Ministry for the Environment. Additionally, during the quarter, Carnival said that it released its 2018 Sustainability Report, detailing the key initiatives and progress made in 2018 toward its 2020 sustainability performance goals.

2019 Outlook

Carnival Corporation & plc President and Chief Executive Officer Arnold Donald stated, "I thank our 150,000 global employees for their efforts to deliver a record quarter in an otherwise challenging year. We achieved additional cost improvements largely driven by leveraging our scale, offsetting the earnings impact due to voyage disruptions from the combined impact of Hurricane Dorian, the tensions in the Arabian Gulf and the delayed delivery of Costa Smeralda. A further reduction in guidance for ticket and onboard revenue worth $0.06 per share in part contributed to by the high level of close-in voyage disruptions was also offset. However, due to an $0.08 impact from the recent spike in fuel prices caused by geopolitical events, we are reducing our full year guidance for 2019 by $0.05 per share."

Based on current booking trends, Carnival said that it expects full year 2019 constant currency net cruise revenues to be up approximately 4.0 percent, with capacity growth of 4.2 percent. Carnival said that it continues to expect its North America & Australia segment yields to be up for the year, but slightly less than previous guidance while its Europe & Asia segment is still expected to be down for the year but slightly more than previous guidance. Carnival said that it expects full year net cruise costs excluding fuel per ALBD in constant currency to be up approximately 0.3 percent versus the prior year compared to June guidance of up approximately 0.7 percent.

Weather related voyage disruptions, the tensions in the Arabian Gulf and a ship delivery delay are expected to have a financial impact of $0.04 to $0.06 per share compared to June guidance. Changes in fuel prices and currency exchange rates are expected to decrease earnings by $0.08 per share also compared to June guidance. Taking the above factors into consideration, Carnival said that it expects full year 2019 adjusted earnings per share to be in the range of $4.23 to $4.27, reflecting recent fuel price increases, compared to June guidance of $4.25 to $4.35 and 2018 adjusted earnings per share of $4.26.

Fourth Quarter 2019 Outlook

Fourth quarter constant currency net revenue yields are expected to be down 2.0 to 3.0 percent compared to the prior year. Net cruise costs excluding fuel per ALBD in constant currency for the fourth quarter are expected to be up 4.0 to 5.0 percent compared to the prior year. Changes in fuel prices and currency exchange rates are expected to increase earnings by $0.06 per share compared to the prior year. Voyage disruptions due to weather, a ship delivery delay and the previously announced U.S. government's policy change on travel to Cuba are expected to have a financial impact of approximately $0.07 to $0.09 per share. Based on the above factors, Carnival said that it expects adjusted earnings per share for the fourth quarter 2019 to be in the range of $0.46 to $0.50 versus 2018 adjusted earnings per share of $0.70.

2020 Outlook

Cumulative advanced bookings for the first half of 2020 are ahead of the prior year at prices that are in line compared to 2019 on a comparable basis. Since June, both booking volumes and prices for the first half of next year have been running lower than the prior year.

For full year 2020, Carnival said that it expects capacity growth of approximately 7 percent. As previously indicated, in 2020 Carnival said that it will increase its usage of MGO as a percent of total fuel consumption as a result of the IMO sulfur emission regulations. MGO is currently anticipated to represent approximately 40 percent of fuel consumption for full year 2020 compared to approximately 20 percent for full year 2019. Using fourth quarter September guidance fuel prices, fuel expense for full year 2020 is expected to be $1.8 billion compared to $1.6 billion expected for full year 2019. Carnival said that it currently expects depreciation to be approximately $2.4 billion for full year 2020 compared to $2.2 billion for full year 2019.

Donald added, "As a truly global cruise company, with nearly 50 percent of our guests sourced outside of the U.S., we are facing a number of current headwinds, including weakening economies affecting our Europe & Asia segment, a strong dollar and of course, the IMO 2020 regulations, and we are working to mitigate them. We have taken actions to bring capacity in Southern Europe more in line with demand, reflecting the current conditions which have been heavily influenced by ongoing economic malaise, the uncertain geopolitical environment and recent trends in consumer confidence. We have also made close-in deployment changes, including those made to address the recent situation in the Arabian Gulf, which has had an impact on recent booking trends and ticket prices. While we are subject to uneven economies in the short run, the global aspect of our business has proven to be a strength over time, producing our industry leading position with over $5 billion in cash from operations, attractive returns on capital and the strongest balance sheet in the industry."

New Video Game-Themed Show Yo Debut Onboard Sky Princess & Enchanted Princess
Princess Cruises, a cruise industry innovator in offering guests original production shows, today announced yet another new theatrical experience with the debut of 5-SKIES onboard Sky Princess and Enchanted Princess. This technologically enhanced production show features a virtual gaming world, spectacular digital effects and acrobatics, intricate sets and contemporary music for one of the cruise line's most visually advanced shows ever.

Sky Princess and Enchanted Princess guests enter the greatest virtual reality game of all-time with main character "Gamer 1" attempting to complete a series of five increasingly difficult levels, meeting different personalities along the way in an attempt to reach the highest level where the Sky Princess character resides. Performed in cadence with a contemporary song list, 5-SKIES is set amongst digital effects, spectacular acrobatics, dazzling costume designs and complex backdrops.

"Our team of creators and collaborators have once again pushed the boundaries of theatrical entertainment design at sea and 5-SKIES will take our guests on a musical journey through a digital universe of spectacle, sight and sound," said Denise Saviss, Princess Cruises vice president of entertainment experience. "Our dedicated team is passionate about connecting new experiences to our guests and with the advance of technology and spectacular visual effects, 5-SKIES will surely wow our audiences."

5-SKIES is scheduled to debut onboard Sky Princess November 2019.

The 5-SKIES creative team includes:

Director and Choreographer Danny Teeson – choreographed for Grammy Award-winning artists Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson and Paula Abdul and Brit Award winners Robbie Williams and Tom Jones, with whom he won the VH1 Best Video Award for Sex Bomb. Teeson has acted as Carrie Underwood's creative director, conceptualizing and directing her Carnival Ride Tour, ACM Awards performance and was seen on Oxygen Network's hit show Dance Your Ass Off as a resident judge. Teeson also created and choreographed the award-winning show for Princess Cruises - Fantastic Journey which won a Themed Entertainment Association award for Outstanding Achievement.

Musical Arranger Nelson Kole – began his career on the Las Vegas strip where he accompanied headliners such as Frank Sinatra, Dionne Warwick, Gladys Knight and the Pips, and soon became musical director/arranger for Don Rickles and Ben Vereen. As arranger and musical director of the 2009 Academy Awards, Kole worked with Beyoncé, Hugh Jackman, Vanessa Hudgens, Zac Efron and Queen Latifah.

Scenic Designer John Iacovelli – won the Emmy Award for his production design of the A&E presentation of Peter Pan, starring Cathy Rigby, which was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Revival. His television production design credits include The Old Settler, The Gin Game, Ed, Babylon and Resurrection Blvd. He's received the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for Lifetime Achievement in Scenic Design and is a member of The Art Directors Guild.

Costume Designer Jackson Lowell – has designed costumes for many celebrities and concert tours including Katy Perry, Pink, Paula Abdul, Jennifer Aniston, Cate Blanchett, Cindy Crawford, Elton John, Brad Pitt, Barbra Streisand and Usher. His television show credits include American Idol, Desperate Housewives, Grey's Anatomy, Ugly Betty, Lost, Private Practice and Scrubs. Lowell has also designed for many notable dance companies, including Hubbard Street Dance Company, Paul Taylor, San Francisco Ballet, Twyla Tharp, Oakland Dance Company and Philadanco.

This creative team is also behind the previously announced Rock Opera, another new production show scheduled to debut onboard Sky Princess and Enchanted Princess. Rock Opera features incredible costumes inspired by glamorous avant garde fashion with a musical soundtrack spanning classic rock, opera and musical theater. It will be brought to life by special guest tenor and America's Got Talent alum Brian Justin Crum.

Carnival Corporation Relief Effort Delivers 10 Million Pounds of Supplies to Bahamas
Carnival Corporation & plc today announced its relief effort collected an estimated 10 million pounds of food and supplies for The Bahamas. In partnership with Tropical Shipping, the program began Sept. 4, three days after Hurricane Dorian struck the northwestern part of The Bahamas, and generated an outpouring of generous donations that has filled over 250 shipping containers. Most of the containers were delivered directly to the country's National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) over the past three weeks, providing immediate relief to residents impacted by the storm. In close coordination with NEMA, the remaining containers are in process of being delivered as soon as possible for distribution.

"We are so appreciative of all the individuals and organizations that moved with such a sense of urgency and heartfelt concern to collect and drop off a remarkable volume of donations in a very short amount of time, all of which were delivered when needed most in the immediate aftermath of the storm," said Roger Frizzell, chief communications officer for Carnival Corporation. "It is truly inspiring to see so many people and organizations come together to help others in a time of need. We extend our deepest appreciation to everyone involved with the program. The donations have made and are making a big difference for our neighbors in The Bahamas."

The success of the program, which concluded Sept. 27, was driven by donations from countless individuals and organizations throughout South Florida and North America, with collection sites across Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.

Carnival Corporation continues to provide support to The Bahamas in a number of ways. Last week, the company signed agreements to develop a new cruise port primarily for Carnival Cruise Line on Grand Bahama, and construct a new addition, including a pier, on the Bahamian island of Little San Salvador, home to Holland America Line's Half Moon Cay port. The Grand Bahama project will represent an investment of over $100 million, and the development on Little San Salvador will be an estimated $80 million investment over time.

On Sept. 12, Grand Bahama Shipyard (GBS), owned in part by Carnival Corporation, announced it officially resumed operations and welcomed back its first commercial vessel, the Agathonissos, owned by Greece-based Eletson, for repair work. The shipyard, located in Freeport, Grand Bahama, remains on track for the next planned cruise ship visit, Carnival Cruise Line's Carnival Ecstasy, scheduled to arrive on October 5. In total, Grand Bahama Shipyard expects to service 29 dry-dockings throughout the remainder of the year, helping support recovery efforts through the ongoing work of its more than 600 employees and the additional economic activity generated for the surrounding area of Grand Bahama. Last week the shipyard dry-docked its first ship since reopening following the storm, which is a significant step toward returning to normal operations.

Through the end of the year, Carnival Corporation brands will visit Nassau, Half Moon Cay and Princess Cays. The three destinations received little impact from Hurricane Dorian, and the return to regular sailings is an important step in national recovery efforts in support of the country's tourism industry and its vital economic impact on local businesses and people. In total, six of the company's nine global brands plan to call on The Bahamas in the 2019-2020 cruise season.

The company's cruise line brands are conducting donation drives through Direct Relief and World Central Kitchen. To date, Carnival Cruise Line guests and employees have donated more than $500,000 to the two organizations supporting Bahamas relief efforts. Two Carnival Cruise Line ships – Carnival Liberty and Carnival Pride – visited Freeport the week of Sept. 13 to deliver relief supplies, including dozens of pallets of water, generators, chain saws and more.

Carnival Corporation and its philanthropic arm, Carnival Foundation, are among those providing support to Chef Jose Andres's World Central Kitchen, which is serving more than 25,000 meals per day to people throughout The Bahamas. As of September 24, the charity has provided over 500,000 meals throughout the Bahamas.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 43.71 - 8.36%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 108.33 - 1.11%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.91 - 3.19%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 51.77 - 3.25%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which former Atlantic liner ended her long career being subjected to partial flooding and numerous explosions as she served as a floating prop in the 1959 MGM film The Last Voyage?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Most people know that Cunard's Queen Mary and the Queen Elizabeth served as troopships during World War II. Which two cruise ships served as troop ships during the Falkland islands conflict in 1982?

Answer - Cunard's Transatlantic liner the s/s Queen Elizabeth 2 and P&O's liner Canberra were both requisitioned by the British government for service as troopships during the Falklands War in 1982.
courtesy of Larry P Macdonald, Belmont MA, USA


Cruise News - September 23, 2019

Costa neoRiviera to Become Become AIDAmira After Refit
Costa neoRiviera, which currently operrates under the Costa Cruises brand, will be transformed in Genoa into the new AIDAmira, destined for the German brand AIDA Cruises, with a total investment of 50 million euros and over 1000 workers involved.

An agreement was signed this week with the San Giorgio del Porto shipyard, which will carry out a significant part of the work from October 30 to November 28, 2019.

The order also involves the San Giorgio del Porto shipyard, whose contribution was made official today with the signing of an agreement, at the Italian company's Genoa headquarters, by Michael Thamm, Group CEO Costa Group and Carnival Asia, and Ferdinando Garrè, CEO of San Giorgio del Porto, in the presence of the President of the Western Ligurian Sea Port Authority, Paolo Emilio Signorini and the Councilor for City Planning, Public Property and Urban Renewal of the Municipality of Genoa, Simonetta Cenci.

The restyling work, which will last about a month, will lead to the transformation of the Costa neoRiviera, a ship currently in service for the Costa Cruises brand, into the new AIDAmira, destined for the German brand AIDA Cruises. Both brands are part of the Costa Group, a market leader in Europe and China. A total of about 1000 workers will be involved, 150 of them working directly for the shipyard.

"This new investment in the city of Genoa, with a local partner like San Giorgio del Porto, is a further tangible sign of our link with Genoa and Liguria and of the positive impact that our Group can have locally. We have carried out a study on this subject, which has given very impressive results: in just one year, the Costa Group has generated an economic impact in Europe of 12.6 billion euros and over 63,000 jobs. It is precisely the shipbuilding industry that accounts for the largest part of this impact, thanks to the plan to expand and renew our fleet, but also the contribution that comes directly from each guest, amounting on average to 74.60 euros in every port visited, is particularly significant. Italy is among the top destinations for our guests, with 3.2 million passenger movements, a figure that is going to grow also thanks to AIDAmira, which will be calling at three ports in Southern Italy next summer” - said Michael Thamm, Group CEO Costa Group and Carnival Asia».

"We are honored that the Costa Group continues to give us confidence and to believe in the know-how and technical skills of the Genoese shipbuilding industry and of San Giorgio del Porto in particular, despite the many infrastructure-related difficulties that continue to prevent the full development of ship repair and refitting activities. Costa's decision to bring a job of this magnitude to Genoa could not be taken for granted and for this we are grateful to the company" - said Ferdinando Garrè, CEO of San Giorgio del Porto».

Holland America Line Debuts 2020 Grand Africa Voyage
In 2020, Holland America Line will debut a new Grand Africa Voyage that circles the continent and features more than a dozen epic safari experiences and wildlife encounters. The premium cruise line also is offering 2020 and 2021 Grand South America and Antarctica voyages in which an Amazon River exploration and in-depth Antarctica cruising anchor the itineraries.

Cruising from Boston, Massachusetts, to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the 79-day Grand Africa Voyage departs Oct. 3, 2020, aboard Amsterdam, offering the ideal mid-sized ship for the journey. Volendam sets sail Jan. 5, 2020, on a 77-day Grand South America & Antarctica Voyage, while the 2021 journey departs Jan. 4 for 74 days.

"Our longer Grand Voyages are the pinnacle of worldly exploration in the most immersive way, and for years guests have asked for Africa so we set out to deliver the most authentic itinerary that delves deep into the continent," said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line's president. "The Grand South America & Antarctic Voyage continues to be popular for the variety of cultures it offers. The ship goes from the tropics to glaciers and everything in between, all in one cruise. The 2020 itinerary is selling well and we're excited to open 2021 for our guests who are ready to start planning."

Spectacular Grand Africa Voyage an Adventurer's Dream
Holland America Line's Grand Africa Voyage departs Boston Oct. 3, 2020, on a 79-day itinerary that circles the continent on a clockwise route, making 19 African calls and exploring the Middle East. The ship visits Newport, Rhode Island; New York, New York; and then Fort Lauderdale where guests can embark for a 74-day roundtrip cruise. Amsterdam then crosses the Atlantic Ocean to the islands of Madeira and Lanzarote. Guests will then explore Moroccan traditions at Agadir and Casablanca; take in a kaleidoscope of colors at La Goulette (Tunis), Tunisia; and visit the island of Malta. The ship transits the Suez Canal en route to Aqaba, Jordan, for an overnight call and the opportunity to travel to the Lost City of Petra.

After a call at Salalah, Oman, Amsterdam overnights at the idyllic port of Victoria in the Seychelles, boasting pristine natural beauty and a vibrant Creole heritage.

Wildlife takes center stage for the upcoming calls on the Grand Africa Voyage, with several safari opportunities. An overnight at Mombasa, Kenya, affords guests the chance to go to Serengeti National Park or Maasi Mara Reserve. Guests also can go overland to Ngorongoro Crater or take a day safari at Tsavo National Park.

At Zanzibar, Tanzania, guests can visit the Jozani Forest Reserve and see the rare red colobus monkey, while a call at Mamoudzou, Mayotte, offers world-class snorkeling and diving. Lokobe National Park and the Black Lemur Sanctuary can be visited during a call at Andoany (Hell-Ville), Nosy-Be, Madagascar; and the call at Maputo, Mozambique, is the gateway for an overland to Kruger National Park, the largest game reserve in South Africa. Richards Bay, South Africa, offers an abundance of wildlife EXCursions, including overland tours to Phinda Mountain Lodge and Thanda Private Game Reserve.

The ship then arrives at Cape Town, South Africa, for two full days and an array of memorable experiences. Guests can visit world-famous wineries, explore Table Mountain, view Nelson Mandela's prison cell, coast along Chapman's Peak Drive, go overland to Kulala Desert Lodge, head out on a local safari and more.

Amsterdam begins the final leg of the Africa adventure cruising up the west coast of the continent to Luderitz and Walvis Bay, Namibia; Luanda, Angola; Banjul, Gambia; Dakar, Senegal; and Mindelo, Cape Verde. The ships spends five leisurely days crossing the Atlantic Ocean to San Juan, Puerto, Rico, before arriving in Fort Lauderdale Dec. 21.

Grand South America & Antarctica 2021
In 2021, Volendam embarks on a 74-day Grand South America & Antarctica Voyage, which visits 34 ports in eight countries and various Caribbean islands. The circumnavigation includes extensive exploration of two juxtaposed natural wonders: the Amazon River and Antarctica. Overnight calls include two nights at Callao (Lima), Peru; and single nights at Buenos Aires, Argentina; Rio de Janeiro and Manaus, Brazil.

The roundtrip Fort Lauderdale voyage departs Jan. 4, 2021, and transits the Panama Canal before heading to Ecuador and Peru. Two nights at Callao afford guests time to take an overland tour to the famed site of Machu Picchu. Two more calls in Peru and seven visits throughout Chile set a course for scenic cruising in the Chilean Fjords, the Strait of Magellan, the Cockburn and Beagle channels, Glacier Alley and Cape Horn. A call at Ushuaia at the southernmost tip of Argentina kicks off four days of spectacular scenic cruising in Antarctica where iceberg-dotted waters and an abundance of wildlife await.

After leaving Antarctica, Volendam begins the journey northward to the Falkland Islands, Uruguay and Argentina. During an overnight at Buenos Aires, guests can take in a sultry tango show or indulge in an overland tour to Iguazu Falls. Brazil takes center stage, with 12 calls throughout South America's largest country, including an overnight in Rio de Janeiro. The journey along the Amazon River takes the ship to Manaus for an overnight, giving guests time to enjoy a performance at the Teatro Amazonas Opera House. Two Caribbean calls at beautiful tropical isles provide the perfect ending before the ship reaches Fort Lauderdale.

Grand South America & Antarctica 2020
Volendam also offers a similar Grand South America & Antarctica Voyage in 2020, departing Jan. 5 for a 77-day journey. During the cruise, the ship visits 37 ports in seven countries and several Caribbean islands. Overnight calls include Fuerte Amador, Panama; and Callao, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro and Manaus.

The 2020 voyage also explores Panama, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and 14 calls in Brazil, with Chilean Fjord and Glacier Alley scenic cruising, a four-day Antarctica Experience and Amazon River journey. Guests looking for a shorter cruise can book a 41-day segment from Fort Lauderdale to Buenos Aires or a 36-day segment from Buenos Aires to Fort Lauderdale.

NCL Partners With JUST Goods, Inc. To Eliminate Single-Use Plastic Bottles Across Fleet
Norwegian Cruise Line, the innovator in global cruise travel with a 52-year history of breaking boundaries, today announced another first as a result of its partnership with JUST Goods, Inc., which will enable the Cruise Line to replace all single-use plastic bottles across its fleet by January 1, 2020, beginning with its newest innovative ship, Norwegian Encore.

The decision is the latest sustainable step forward for Norwegian Cruise Line. In 2018, the Company eliminated single-use plastic straws across its 16-ship fleet and private destinations, and as a result of this most recent initiative, it will replace over six million single-use plastic bottles every year. These efforts are driven by the Company's Sail & Sustain Environmental Program which is its commitment to minimize waste to landfills, reduce its CO2 emissions rate, increase sustainable sourcing and invest in emerging technologies.

"We are a leading Company – one that is in the business of creating memorable experiences for our guests," said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. "It is imperative that we take meaningful steps to preserve our oceans and the destinations we visit. Partnering with JUST is one of my proudest moments, as the head of our pioneering brand. This latest effort – the elimination of single-use plastic bottles across our fleet – is just the latest environmentally responsible action we are taking to reduce our footprint and encourage others to protect our natural resources. While we are aware that this is just the beginning of what we and others need to do to be good stewards of our environment, we are committed to our Sail & Sustain initiatives and will continue to innovate for the overall benefit of the planet and its future."

Envisioned and founded by American rapper, songwriter, actor and activist Jaden Smith and family, JUST takes an innovative approach to sourcing and packaging the world's most valued resource - water. The revolutionary company focuses on an impact model, taking into consideration both how the water is sourced and packaged. JUST is 100% spring water in a plant-based carton. The carton is made of 82% renewable materials – the paper carton is made from trees grown in responsibly-managed forests and the cap and shoulder are made from a sugarcane-based plastic. It is refillable and recyclable. JUST has a global presence with bottling facilities in Glenn Falls, NY; Ballymena, Northern Ireland; and Ballarat, Australia, thus allowing the company to meet demand around the world without shipping water from a single production source. JUST takes care to use the most efficient shipping options available.

"It's critical that businesses take a leading role in efforts to lighten the impact we have on our planet," said JUST Goods, Inc. CEO Ira Laufer. "We created JUST to do just that – to be a better option in a category that has created a lot of the damage and continues to do so. The JUST team couldn't be happier to now share this goal with our partner, Norwegian Cruise Line. We're deeply appreciative of Norwegian's commitment that's so similar to ours – the Company is pushing the boundaries of what's always been done because it knows we all need to do better. We're thrilled to be taking steps in the right direction alongside NCL."

Celebrity Cruises Unlocks A World Of Wonders In New Campaign
Evoking wonder and intrigue, while breaking category conventions, Celebrity Cruises offers a first-look at their new brand campaign from new agency Lucky Generals. Aptly titled "Wonder Awaits," the first ad will premiere across key markets at the 71st Emmy Awards on Sunday, September 22, 2019.

The television spot – produced by Iconoclast and set to the iconic Jefferson Airplane song "White Rabbit" – follows a female protagonist on a voyage of discovery through a dream-like wonderland of world-class cuisine, cocktails, Eden-istic experiences and alluring accommodations, all on the brand's newest ship, Celebrity Edge.

"'Wonder Awaits' is about bringing the experience of cruising with Celebrity to life in a dramatic, beautiful way," said Peter Giorgi, Chief Marketing Officer, Celebrity Cruises. "We wanted to show how unexpected moments, impeccable service and stunning design create a trip that is truly wonderful, and provides our guests with a break from reality, even just for an instant."

James Fox, Managing Partner of Lucky Generals in New York added: "We want viewers to see Celebrity the way we see Celebrity: As a modern and progressive brand with an incredible and unique product. We hope to convey the same feelings of wonder and intrigue you get from being on a Celebrity cruise, in a fresh way."

"Wonder Awaits" is the first campaign in conjunction with Lucky Generals who won the bid for Celebrity in fall 2018. The campaign comes hot off the successful launch of Celebrity Edge – which was recently named one of TIME Magazine's 2019 World's Greatest Places1 – and was crafted with the intent of putting the award-winning brand's world-class product at the forefront to highlight Celebrity's distinction.

In addition to the flagship 60-second spot that premieres on Sunday, the work will span several creative mediums over the coming months, including additional 30- and 15-second spots, high-profile luxury and lifestyle print placements, billboards, digital media buys and more.

Celebrity Edge, which debuted in late 2018, was brought to life by a collective of visionary architects and designers and featuring stunning industry first innovations – such as the innovative Edge Stateroom with Infinite Veranda and the Magic Carpet, the world's first cantilevered platform that travels up to 16 decks alongside the ship. Celebrity Edge has already made an impact in the cruising industry thanks to its commitment to design, technological innovation and an array of extraordinary guest experiences. Celebrity Edge is currently visiting the stunning vistas of the Mediterranean with a range of seven- to 11-night sailings from iconic cities like Barcelona and Rome, and will be returning to the Caribbean in November. Building on Celebrity Edge's incredible momentum, she'll be joined by Celebrity Apex in 2020, and two additional sister ships in 2021 and 2022.

Carnival Receives Approval For Major Expansion Of Terminal F At PortMiami
Carnival Cruise Line expressed appreciation today to the Miami-Dade County Commission for approving a proposal for a complete renovation and major expansion of Cruise Terminal F at PortMiami that will be capable of supporting the operations of Carnival's new Excel class ship – clearing the way for the yet-to-be-named sister ship of Mardi Gras to be homeported in Miami when it is delivered in 2022.

"With today's approval, we will move quickly on a plan to remodel and expand Terminal F so that it will accommodate the most innovative class of ship to join our fleet," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "Over the last several months, we have had very constructive discussions with PortMiami and Miami-Dade leaders about our plans for Miami and our goal to enhance and grow our capacity and operations in our hometown. Everyone is very excited about Miami being home to our next liquefied natural gas (LNG) ship in North America and the sister ship to Mardi Gras, which arrives next August and is generating tremendous enthusiasm. Today's vote assures that the new ship and terminal expansion will both arrive in time for Carnival's 50th anniversary in 2022."

Carnival Cruise Line is the largest cruise operator in Miami with more year-round ships sailing from PortMiami than any other cruise line. The redesigned Terminal F will allow Carnival to continue to be the leader in the market, accommodating not only its largest and newest class of ship, but also allowing the line to bring its next LNG ship to south Florida. Duffy thanked local officials for their efforts to work cooperatively with the company to reach agreement on scope, timing and design work so that construction can be completed in time for the ship's late 2022 arrival. Mardi Gras, the first Carnival Excel class ship for the line, will be delivered in August 2020 and be homeported at Port Canaveral after inaugural sailings from Europe and New York.

When completed, Terminal F will be the third cruise terminal at PortMiami dedicated to Carnival operations. The agreement includes a commitment by Carnival to keep ships at Terminal F for 20 years, with the option of two additional seven-year extensions.

The terminal's simple and open design by Berenblum Busch Architects of Miami will allow for exceptional efficiency and flexibility to accommodate Carnival's largest class of ships, maximizing use of facial recognition technology and other elements to move guests through the embarkation process.

Expansion plans will result in Terminal F being Carnival's largest terminal in North America. All renovations are set for completion by October 2022 to welcome the Carnival Excel class ship arriving in late 2022.

Princess Cruises Appoints Prag Shah Global Head of Experience & Innovation Operations
Princess Cruises has appointed Prag (Pragnesh) Shah to the position of global head of experience & innovation operations, leading the continued activation and expansion of MedallionClass Vacations including digital and live immersive experiences across the cruise line's fleet. In this role, Shah directs the efforts to continue the successful delivery of services elevating guest and crew experiences powered by the OceanMedallion, the most advanced wearable device in the global hospitality industry.

Shah brings more than 25 years of diverse strategy and operations leadership to this role particularly intersecting mobile, digital and customer experience. Most recently, he was president of WealthEngine, a data analytics company serving luxury brands and nonprofit organizations.

"Prag's extensive experience in leveraging technology to enhance the customers experience is critical in guiding our MedallionClass initiatives and seagoing teams in the extensive fleetwide rollout which is resulting in positive guest reactions," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. "We welcome him to Princess Cruises and look forward to his leadership and contributions to achieve success in this role."

As head of experience & innovation, Shah will oversee the expansion of MedallionClass Vacations on six additional ships in 2020 – Ruby Princess (January 27), Grand Princess (March 29), Enchanted Princess (June 15), Emerald Princess (August 16), Coral Princess (October 16), and Island Princess (December 20).

MedallionClass Vacations are currently available on Caribbean Princess, Regal Princess, Royal Princess, Crown Princess and next month when Sky Princess joins the fleet as the first new ship to enter services as a MedallionClass ship. By the end of 2020, guests sailing in the Caribbean, Alaska, Panama Canal, Europe, Australia/New Zealand, Mexico, California Coast and on the World Cruise will have the elevated guest experience powered by the OceanMedallion.

Shah's prior roles include global president of Rosetta Stone, vice president of innovation of Sprint Corporation and chief operating officer/chief executive officer of venture-backed IoT car services and mobile payments companies. Shah started his career as an aerospace engineer at NASA.

He holds bachelor of science and master of science degrees in engineering from The George Washington University, and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Shah serves on the board of Pratham USA, jumpstarting youth literacy in India, and was a founding member of the digital advisory group for the National Parks Conservation Association.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 47.70 - 2.49%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 109.55 - 3.84%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.94 - 1.05%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 53.51 + 0.32%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Most people know that Cunard's Queen Mary and the Queen Elizabeth served as troopships during World War II. Which two cruise ships served as troop ships during the Falkland islands conflict in 1982?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
When Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas was out on her sea trials she sported a unique entertainment option on her aft decks. This entertainment option never made it past the sea trials. What was this high flying entertainment option?

Answer - It was sporting a miniature blimp!
courtesy of Ronnie Russo, Tucson, Airzona


Cruise News - September 16, 2019

Cunard Announces 2021 Voyages
Cunard Line has announced its voyage program for the remainder of 2021, including an extended season in Japan and new voyages in Iceland, the Baltics, and North Cape. Cunard's iconic ships – Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria – will pamper travelers, offering an exquisite onboard experience as they visit remarkable cities around the globe.

Queen Victoria will offer a new 14-night itinerary in majestic Iceland, and will also sail a new nine-night Baltic itinerary with a maiden call at Aarhus, Denmark. Queen Elizabeth will spend more time in East Asia with five roundtrip Tokyo voyages, including a maiden call at Seogwipo in Jeju Island, South Korea, followed by two Southeast Asia sailings before heading to Australia. Flagship liner Queen Mary 2 will increase the number of the brand's signature Transatlantic Crossings in 2021, with short breaks in Europe, along with New England & Canada voyages.

"In 2021, Cunard will focus each ship in unique regions of the world to offer our guests more immersive experiences," said Josh Leibowitz, SVP Cunard North America. "Queen Elizabeth will offer an extended Spring season in Japan, Queen Victoria in Europe, and Queen Mary 2 will sail the unparalleled Transatlantic Crossing."

Queen Mary 2
Queen Mary 2 will continue to be the only ship to offer regularly-scheduled service between New York and London, making 23 Transatlantic Crossings from April through December in 2021, including Crossings from Hamburg, Germany and Le Havre (Paris), France. Queen Mary 2 will also sail her very popular New England & Canada voyages over the July Fourth holiday with an overnight in Boston, and in early October with overnight calls in Québec City. Other itineraries include the Norwegian Fjords, Caribbean, and short break five-night voyages in Western Europe.

Queen Mary 2 voyage highlights include:

• 23 seven- and eight-night Transatlantic Crossings, including those docking at Hamburg, Germany and Le Havre, France

• Western Europe Short Breaks, which can be added to a Crossing or booked separately; are five nights in length and feature stops in Rotterdam, Zeebrugge, St. Peter Port and Cherbourg

• Three seven-night Norwegian Fjord voyages roundtrip from London, in July and August

• The Fourth of July six-night Independence Day cruise, roundtrip from New York, with an overnight stay in historic Boston

• Two seven-night New England & Canada sailings between New York and Québec City on October 1 and 8, each including an overnight stay in Québec City

• A fourteen-night roundtrip NYC New England & Canada voyage

• Two Caribbean sailings roundtrip from New York including stops at a variety of islands; of which one will be a Thanksgiving voyage, and the other voyage during Christmas and New Year's holidays

Queen Victoria
Queen Victoria will sail Northern Europe itineraries from May through November 2021, interspersed with a few Southern Europe voyages in late spring and during autumn, all of which are roundtrip out of Southampton, England. The ship will make one maiden call in Aarhus, Denmark, and will have overnight stays on various voyages in St. Petersburg, Russia; Reykjavik, Iceland; as well as Funchal and Lisbon, Portugal. Evening departures will be offered in Liverpool, England; Tromso and Narvik, Norway; and Funchal, Portugal.

Queen Victoria highlights include:

• Two new 14-night itineraries in Iceland, one featuring the British Isles ports of Belfast and Liverpool, and the other visiting the Scottish ports of New Haven and Invergordon; also calling at the Faroe Islands, Reykjavik, Inverness, and more

• A new nine-night Baltic itinerary calling at Aarhus (a maiden call) and Bornholm, Denmark; St. Petersburg, Russia; Helsinki, Finland; Kiel, Germany; and Gothenburg, Sweden

• A new twelve-night North Cape voyage calling at six Norwegian ports

• A thirteen-night British Isles voyage, calling at St. Peter Port, Liverpool, Inverness, Glasgow, Belfast, and more.

• Four 7-night Norwegian Fjord voyages

• Two 14-night Western Mediterranean sailings calling at Porto, Barcelona, Cannes, Gibraltar and more; one 19-night Central Mediterranean voyage featuring calls at Dubrovnik, Zadar and Sibenik in Croatia

• Two 14-night Canary Islands itineraries calling at Tenerife, Gran Canaria, and Lanzarote

• A four-night Western Europe cruise visiting Rotterdam and Bruges

Queen Elizabeth
In 2021, Queen Elizabeth will offer an extended season in Japan with two additional Tokyo roundtrip sailings in the spring. The first will visit Western and Southern Japan ports of Kagoshima, Fukuoka, Nagasaki, Busan and a maiden call at Seogwipo in Jeju Island, South Korea. The second will circumnavigate Japan with calls in Aomori, Akita, Kanazawa, Nagasaki and Busan. After her June-August Alaska season (details to be released later this year), Queen Elizabeth will return to Japan for three Tokyo roundtrip voyages and then sail to Southeast Asia with overnight stays in the iconic ports of Shanghai, Hong Kong and Singapore. In November, the ship will sail to Australia and New Zealand.

Queen Elizabeth highlights include:

• Five roundtrip Tokyo itineraries ranging from seven to nine nights in May, September and October

• Two Asia/Orient sailings, 8 and 10 nights; port calls include Nagasaki, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Hanoi, Da Nang, Singapore, and more

• One 15-night Asia/Australia voyage from Singapore to Sydney in November with port calls at Jakarta, Bali, Brisbane, among others

• One 11-night Australia voyage from Sydney to Auckland, New Zealand with port calls at Melbourne, Dunedin, Bay of Islands, and more

Royal Caribbean To Welcome First Quantum Ultra Class Ship To North America
Royal Caribbean International will dial up the adventure in South Florida in fall 2020 with the debut of the highly anticipated Odyssey of the Seas – the first Quantum Ultra Class ship to arrive in North America. The global cruise line's 27th ship will arrive to her seasonal homeport of Fort Lauderdale, FL in November 2020 to offer 8- and 6-night Caribbean cruises. Odyssey will then continue her inaugural year in Europe for summer 2021.

Offering even more ways to experience the sun-soaked islands of the Western and Southern Caribbean, Odyssey of the Seas will be the first Quantum Ultra Class ship to call on Aruba and Curacao as part of its 8-night itineraries. Island-hopping vacationers can explore Aruba's rugged landscape off-roading in Arikok National Park, and discover the beloved architecture and narrow streets of Willemstad, Curacao. Primed for memory-making, Odyssey's 6-night adventures will open the door to deep diving in Cozumel, Mexico; swimming with sea turtles in George Town, Grand Cayman; and a day of thrill and chill on Perfect Day at CocoCay, home to Daredevil's Peak, the tallest waterslide in North America; Up, Up & Away, the helium balloon experience that soars up to 450 feet in the air; Oasis Lagoon, the Caribbean's largest freshwater pool; and the pristine, white sand beaches of The Bahamas.

Odyssey's Caribbean cruises are now open for sale; and Europe itineraries will open in November 2019.

As part of the Quantum Ultra Class, Odyssey of the Seas will represent the next evolution of Royal Caribbean's groundbreaking and high-tech Quantum Class. First introduced in 2014, Quantum Class ships boldly redefined the industry with unprecedented innovations in design, thrilling activities, game-changing technology and multidimensional entertainment. Travelers on board Odyssey can expect to find an unrivaled combination of new, soon-to-be-announced experiences, plus "Only on Royal" features, including the RipCord by iFLY sky-diving adventure; North Star, a glass observation capsule that takes guests more than 300 feet above the ocean; the state-of-the-art Two70 entertainment venue; and a robust lineup of culinary experiences. The ship will also tout the SeaPlex, the largest and most revolutionary indoor active space at sea, featuring a trapeze school, full-size basketball court, roller-skating rink and bumper cars.

Viking Announces New Ocean Offerings For 2021
Viking today announced its seventh ocean ship, Viking Venus, will join its award-winning fleet in early 2021, further solidifying the company's standing as the largest and world's best small-ship ocean cruise line. The newest 930-guest sister ship will spend her maiden season sailing popular itineraries in Scandinavia and Northern Europe, including British Isles Explorer, In Search of the Northern Lights, Viking Homelands and Into the Midnight Sun.

"The spirit of exploration is at the heart of everything we do. We have always drawn inspiration from the original Viking explorers, who were the first to use the stars and constellations for long-distance navigation. Many elements onboard our ships honor those Viking explorers, and we are proud to host our guests on itineraries that sail some of those historic trading routes," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "I am pleased to announce that Viking Venus will join our fleet in 2021, allowing us the ability to introduce even more travelers to the Viking way of exploration."

Viking will also expand its offerings in the Mediterranean and today announced five new itineraries that include stops in Istanbul, marking the company's return to the iconic city. The new 8-day Ancient Mediterranean Treasures will sail between Athens and Istanbul, with overnight stays in both cities. Guests looking for an extended experience in the region can choose a longer versions of the itinerary, including the 15-day Ancient Adriatic Treasures, which sails between Venice and Istanbul; the 15-day Ancient Mediterranean Antiquities, which sails between Rome and Istanbul; the 22-day Iconic Mediterranean Treasures, which sails between Barcelona and Istanbul; or the 29-day Mediterranean's Iconic Shores, which also sails between Barcelona and Istanbul and includes stops in Montenegro and Croatia.

Beginning in April 2021 and sailing on Viking's award-winning 930-guest all-veranda Viking Sky, guests embarking on the new Ancient Mediterranean Treasures itinerary or its longer combination cruise options will witness the origin of civilization while cruising the fabled Aegean Sea. Highlights of the new itinerary include:

• Istanbul, Turkey: Guests begin their journey with an overnight stay in Istanbul, allowing more time to explore the iconic city. Guests can visit a wealth of religious sites including the "Blue Mosque" one of the city's most recognizable sites, watch the mesmerizing whirling dervishes perform at a local venue, or participate in a centuries-old tradition at a hammam, a Turkish bath. Plus, Viking's Privileged Access offers guests the chance to tour the legendary Hagia Sofia free of crowds.

• Troy (Çanakkale), Turkey: Guests can explore the nearby well-preserved ruins of Troy, most remembered as the setting of the Trojan War, described by Homer in the Iliad, or visit the nearby Battlefields of Gallipoli, the tranquil memorial site of one of World War I's longest and deadliest battles.

• Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey: One of the best-preserved cities of antiquity in the world, Ephesus is rich in history and ancient relics. While in port, guests can visit the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, walk through the Byzantine Basilica of St. John, or visit the modest home where, according to legend, the Virgin Mary lived out her final days.

• Rhodes, Greece: While on the island of Rhodes, guests can explore within the city walls of Old Town, Europe's largest active medieval town and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, learn about island culture through a visit to a traditional village home, or head to one of the island's scenic mountaintops for sweeping views of the island and the Turkish coast.

• Heraklion, Greece: Located on the island of Crete, Heraklion boasts millennia-old history and was once the strongest fortified city in the Eastern Mediterranean. Guests can take in archeological splendors whose history is interwoven with the legends of Greek mythology, including the Palace of Knossos and the village of Arolithos, or explore the ruins of the Minoans, Europe's oldest recorded civilization.

• Athens, Greece: The journey concludes with an overnight stay in Athens, known as "the birthplace of democracy," where guests can witness iconic sites such as the Hellenic Parliament, the Panathenaic Stadium, the Temple of Olympian Zeus and the mighty Parthenon atop the Acropolis. Viking also offers guests Privileged Access to the Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation's exhibit on British naval icon Vice Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson and the chance to tour a reconstructed ancient Athenian warship, the Olympias, once the dominant warship on the Mediterranean Sea from the 7th to 4th centuries BC.

Holland America Line's 2019-2020 Maasdam Voyages Offer a Cultural Journey Around the South Pacific, Mexico and Australia
Explorers, wanderers and travelers looking to connect with cultures around the world will have new itineraries aboard Holland America Line's Maasdam for its 2019-2020 cruising season. Ranging from seven- to 30-days, the popular journeys continue on the 1,258-guest Maasdam from September 2019 through April 2020 to the waters of Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific, along with two new Mexico itineraries and a new Pacific Coastal cruise. The Maasdam's specially curated itineraries set themselves apart with a dedicated onboard team of subject-matter experts and Excursions by Zodiac tours for up-close exploration.

"Guest feedback has been extremely positive from the first year of our innovative Maasdam voyages, and we're excited to continue into 2020 with more exceptionally planned itineraries that are ideal for this unique style of exploration," said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line's president. "These cruises cater to seasoned travelers who are eager to find new ways to experience and understand the world and who seek enriching and in-depth programming as part of their journey."

Maasdam voyages depart from Sydney, Australia; Auckland, New Zealand; Papeete, Tahiti; San Diego, California; and Vancouver, British Columbia.

Late-night departures and overnight calls are a highlight of the voyages so guests have more time in port to experience the nightlife. Guests will have late-night departures at Adelaide and Phillip Island, Australia; Suva, Fiji; Nouméa, New Caledonia; Auckland and Tauranga, New Zealand; Hobart, Tasmania; Papeete and Huahine Iti, French Polynesia; Lahaina and Honolulu, Hawaii; Victoria, British Columbia; and Loreto, Topolobampo and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The ship overnights at Fremantle (Perth), Australia; Hobart; Papeete; and Vaitape, Bora Bora.

In addition to the new Mexico and Pacific Coastal cruises, new itineraries include a 10-day New Zealand & Coral Sea Odyssey and 20-day Pacific Islands Adventure.

Nonrepeating, back-to-back itineraries can be combined to form even longer voyages ranging from 19 to 51 days that showcase multiple regions.

Australia, New Zealand, the South Pacific and Hawaii The season begins in September with the new 10- or 21-day New Zealand & Coral Sea Odyssey cruise from Sydney to Auckland or roundtrip Sydney. The 10-day sailing explores the pristine islands of New Caledonia and Vanuatu, while the 21-day itinerary explores six ports throughout New Zealand and Milford Sound.

Travelers who want a total Australia exploration can embark Oct. 17, 2019, on the 30-day Australia Circumnavigation roundtrip from Sydney that circles the continent. The itinerary calls at 13 Australian ports, exotic Komodo Island, and includes scenic cruising in the famed Great Barrier Reef, the Torres Strait, Ribbon Reef and a sunrise at Lizard Island.

The unique Maasdam voyages continue with a series of itineraries throughout Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania, Melanesia and the Pacific Islands before the ship sails for the Hawaiian Islands. The March 15, 2020 departure is a 19-day cruise from Papeete to San Diego that includes five calls in Hawaii, an overnight at Bora Bora, a call at Christmas Island, an equator crossing and an International Dateline crossing.

Two new Mexico & Sea of Cortez cruises depart April 3 and 15, 2020, and sail roundtrip from San Diego. These 12-day itineraries feature unique scenic cruising in Bahi´a Magdalena and call at Cabo San Lucas, Pichilingue (La Paz), Loreto, Guaymas, Topolobampo, Mazatla´n and Puerto Vallarta, deeply immersing guests in the culture of the country.

Departing April 27, 2020, the new seven-day Pacific Coastal voyage sails from San Diego to Vancouver and calls at Santa Barbara, Monterey and San Francisco, California; Seattle, Washington; and Victoria, British Columbia.

Onboard the specially curated Maasdam itineraries, enrichment is guided by a resident team of subject-matter experts. Maasdam also carries eight Zodiac inflatable boats, the type popularized by famous oceanographer Jacques Cousteau, so guests can enjoy opportunities to intimately explore less-accessible sites and wildlife habitats in select ports as part of the ship's Shore EXCursion program. A mix of onboard experts and local guides co-guide Zodiac outings to enrich the experience for guests.

Norwegian Cruise Line Launches Encore Moments Campaign To Reward Everyday Heroes
Norwegian Cruise Line today unveiled its Encore Moments campaign to recognize and reward everyday heroes across North America.

Launched in advance of the debut of the brand's newest innovative ship, Norwegian Encore, the company is encouraging the public to nominate those who deserve an encore - applause - for the positive impact they have on their friends, family and communities. Leveraging the ship's festive name for an engaging campaign, Encore Moments will recognize the good works of individuals across the U.S. and Canada by awarding a cruise to one winner from every state and province. This new campaign was developed on the heels of the brand's wildly successful Giving Joy campaign, which recognized and rewarded teachers who spread joy in the classroom.

"We are in the people business, delivering positive, memorable experiences around the world," said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. "We believe it is very important to make the time to celebrate and thank the people whose acts of kindness and compassion make a difference in the lives of their friends and families, and within their communities. We are very proud and excited to launch Encore Moments and we encourage the public to bring these hometown heroes to the forefront for a well-deserved encore."

Norwegian Cruise Line's Encore Moments campaign, which runs from Sept. 18, 2019 to Oct. 18, 2019 will recognize and reward 52 people across the U.S. (one person from each state including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico), and one person from each of Canada's provinces and territories (excluding Quebec). The 64 nominees with the most votes in their state, province or territory will win their choice of a three-to-five-day cruise for two on almost any Norwegian Cruise Line ship. They will also be provided airfare and accommodations for an award ceremony taking place in New York City on December 16, 2019.

To nominate a hero, vote and review the terms and conditions, please visit www.encoremoments.ncl.com.

Carnival Corporation Relief Effort Collects 2,841 Tons of Supplies for The Bahamas
Carnival Corporation today announced that its relief program to provide humanitarian aid to The Bahamas collected and delivered during its first week over 2,841 tons of food and supplies in over 90 shipping containers – a remarkable milestone made possible by generous donations from countless individuals and organizations throughout South Florida and North America.

"The outpouring of support for our friends in the Bahamas has been so touching, and so many people and organizations have stepped up asking how they can get involved," said Roger Frizzell, chief communications officer for Carnival Corporation. "We want to publicly thank everyone who has made donations for their efforts, support and genuine concern for our friends and neighbors in The Bahamas. Through our partnership with Tropical Shipping, we are able to ship much-needed supplies directly to The Bahamas National Emergency Management Agency in Freeport for distribution to the thousands of Bahamians lacking food, water and life's most essential needs. The response has been inspiring, and we cannot thank everyone enough."

Added Frizzell: "With the program continuing, we encourage everyone to please stay involved in this humanitarian mission." Details regarding donation collections are further below.

While food and supplies have been provided by many anonymous donors, some of the most significant donations have been made by Broward County Public Schools, Cheney Brothers, the City of Dania Beach, City of Pembroke Pines, Florida International University, JM Honda of Miami, Mater Lakes Academy, Miami-Dade County, Palm Beach County, Peanut Proud, Sedano's Supermarket, Starbucks Coffee, United Way of Broward County and Xtreme Aviation.

In addition, collection efforts are being coordinated with the City of Miramar Fire Rescue, and with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the Bahamas, providing shipping for supplies being donated at its Washington, D.C., embassy. Additionally, Social Global Leaders, in partnership with United Way of Miami-Dade, is donating up to 200 "eco-filters" – reusable and sustainable water purification systems that convert saltwater to water that is safe to drink.

Thanks to the ongoing dedicated efforts in South Florida and throughout North America, Carnival Corporation and Tropical Shipping were able to support the direct shipment of medical supplies, water, food, cots, tents, wheelbarrows, shovels, chainsaws, generators, appliances, clothing and other essentials. The effort included two Carnival Cruise Line ships, Carnival Liberty and Carnival Pride, delivering donated items to Freeport. In addition, Carnival Corporation brands are conducting donation drives to support The Bahamas through Direct Relief and World Central Kitchen. To date, Carnival Cruise Line guests and employees have donated more than $350,000 to the two organizations supporting Bahamas relief efforts.

Numerous drop-off locations for relief supplies are now open throughout South Florida for the ongoing effort, and a list at the end of this announcement includes addresses, contact information, hours of operation and other relevant details for each collection point. For those outside South Florida, supplies can be shipped directly to Tropical Shipping's address in Riviera Beach.

In addition to the deliveries, Carnival Corporation is working with charities positioned throughout the Bahamas. This includes supporting Rand Hospital, the main hospital on Grand Bahama, by providing medical equipment and supplies in partnership with Direct Relief. Carnival Corporation and its philanthropic arm, Carnival Foundation, are among those providing support to World Central Kitchen, which is serving more than 25,000 meals per day to people in Abaco and Grand Bahama. As of September 16, Chef Jose Andres's World Central Kitchen has provided over 250,000 meals throughout the Bahamas. To support World Central Kitchen's efforts, donate here.

While relief support is ongoing, popular destinations in The Bahamas that had little impact from the hurricane have returned to normal operations, an important development in the country's recovery.

Carnival Corporation announced September 13 that three of its cruise line brands – Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line and Princess Cruises – are returning to the Bahamas and resuming regular guest sailings. Collectively, the three brands are planning over 250 sailings to The Bahamas through the end of 2019, supporting the country's tourism industry, which has a vital positive economic impact on local businesses and people. The sailings will bring visitors and business to Nassau and the company's Bahamian private island destinations, Half Moon Cay and Princess Cays.

In addition, Grand Bahama Shipyard in Freeport reopened September 11, receiving its first commercial vessel since the storm. The shipyard remains on track for the next planned cruise ship dry-dock visit, Carnival Cruise Line's Carnival Ecstasy, scheduled to arrive on October 5.

Carnival Corporation recently announced its philanthropic arm, Carnival Foundation, its nine global cruise line brands and the Micky and Madeleine Arison Family Foundation have pledged to donate $2 million in funding and in-kind support for relief efforts in The Bahamas.

Carnival Corporation Announces Creation Of Incident Analysis Group
Carnival Corporation today announced the appointment of Sandra Rowlett as vice president of the company's newly created Incident Analysis Group (IAG). Rowlett reports directly to Peter Anderson, the newly appointed chief ethics and compliance officer for Carnival Corporation, and is based at the company's headquarters in Miami.

In this role leading IAG, Carnival Corporation's new internal investigations group, Rowlett will oversee a team of global investigators focused on analyzing select health, environment, safety and security (HESS) events within the company's nine cruise line brands. She is also responsible for leading efforts to deploy new global investigation procedures, develop an investigator training and certification program, and standardize a company-wide, root-cause analysis system to aid in continuous operational improvement.

As Carnival Corporation's investigative arm that operates independent of the company's brands, IAG is charged with investigating HESS-related events, making recommendations to enhance policies, procedures and training, recommending robust corrective and preventative action plans, and sharing lessons learned to prevent recurrence. Additionally, the group will investigate issues that extend beyond a single event to enhance safety and environmental protection from a broader perspective, and develop training programs that will be provided to brand investigators to standardize and improve the quality of investigations across the company's global cruise brands.

"With over 100 ships sailing to more than 700 ports around the world, it's imperative that we are thorough and diligent when it comes to the health, safety and security of our guests and crew, and protecting the environments and destinations where we operate, which are top priorities for all of us," said Anderson. "Every effective ethics and compliance program needs a robust and thorough investigative team. Sandy brings valuable experience and insights to Carnival Corporation from decades of investigative and safety-focused work, and has assembled a world-class team of investigators who are positioned around the globe. We look forward to her group's support in gathering facts, determining the root cause of incidents, identifying operational improvements and sharing best practices across our brands."

Added Anderson: "Expanding this team is another example of our company's even stronger commitment to improve environmental compliance and excellence across the global fleet."

As part of her role heading up IAG, Rowlett is leading the effort to expand the group and strategically position four additional investigators around the globe to allow for quick response and action for any incidents that occur across the corporation's global brands. Currently, IAG team members reporting to Rowlett are based in Miami, Orlando and Hamburg, Germany, with four additional team members to be based in Southampton, U.K.; Sydney, Australia; Santa Clarita, Calif.; and Genoa, Italy.

Rowlett joins Carnival Corporation following a long career leading investigations and spearheading safety initiatives, having worked nearly three decades at the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) in various positions. Her tenure at the NTSB included leadership positions overseeing aviation accident investigations, and railroad, pipeline and hazardous materials investigations. Rowlett also served as an air traffic controller at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and in the United States Air Force.

Rowlett earned a bachelor's degree in management studies from the University of Maryland University College and a Master of Aeronautical Science in Aviation/Aerospace Safety Systems degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. In 2002, Rowlett received a letter of appreciation from the FBI in recognition of outstanding support for her work at the World Trade Center following the events of Sept. 11, 2001. She also holds a private pilot license for single-engine planes with an instrument rating.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 48.92 + 2.75%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 113.93 + 3.00%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.95 - 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 53.34 + 0.76%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
When Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas was out on her sea trials she sported a unique entertainment option on her aft decks. This entertainment option never made it past the sea trials. What was this high flying entertainment option?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Beginning in March of 1989, Cunard's QE2 was out of service for 72 days. Why was she out of service?

Answer - To celebrate the 130th anniversary of the City of Yokohama a consortium of Japanese companies chartered the QE2 for 72 days from March 27th 1989. She docked alongside the passenger terminal as a central attraction and although she did not go to sea she maintained her status as an ocean liner.
courtesy of Ralph Sackett, Lichfield UK


Cruise News - September 9, 2019

MSC Announces Plans To Stretch MSC Magnifica
MSC Cruises announced this week that MSC Magnifica will undergo an extensive transformation which will see her stretched by 23 meters. After her makeover Magnifica will offer 215 extra cabins, a new water park, a redesigned kids area, two new restaurants and a new shopping area. The newly refurbished MSC Magnifica will offer brand-new itineraries for Summer 2021 sailing from Southampton.

In an effort to further enhance the guest experience, MSC Cruises is completely transforming MSC Magnifica by cutting the ship in half and adding a 23-meter-long section. This will add an additional 7,000 m2 of space to the ship. This will result in 215 extra cabins, bringing the total number of balcony cabins to 63% of the overall ship, a new water park, a redesigned kids area, plus additional features such as two new restaurants and a new shopping area.

This is not the first time MSC Cruises have refurbished and stretched existing ships in the fleet. In 2015 the four ships of the much loved Lirica class underwent a significant renovation as part of the €130 million ‘Renaissance project’, to improve facilities and enhance the onboard experience.

When the works are completed, MSC Magnifica will feature two new major and important onboard environmental advances to complement a wide range of existing leading-edge environmental technologies across the company’s entire fleet: a state-of-the-art Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system and next-generation Advanced Wastewater Treatment (AWT) system.

SCR technology helps reduce nitrogen oxide into pure nitrogen and water through advanced active emissions control technology. MSC Cruises also took the opportunity to install a state-of-the-art advanced wastewater treatment system on board that meets the highest standards and that purifies used wastewater to near tap-water quality. The system meets the so-called ‘Baltic Standard’ and treats the wastewater to a higher standard than most waste standards available in cities around the world.

To help reduce and continuously minimize emissions also while in port, the ship will be able to ‘plug in’ to the local power grid wherever such systems are available at berth.

After her extensive transformation MSC Magnifica will offer 24 sailings from Southampton. Beginning in May and ending in October 2021, Magnifica will sail cruises ranging from 2 to 14 nights with brand new varied itineraries encompassing Canary Islands & Madeira, the Mediterranean, Northern Europe and the Baltic Capitals. Most of the 24 sailings will begin on a Saturday ensuring guests can make the most of their holiday experience.

With their fantastic climate, distinctive landscapes and bustling ports the 12-night cruise that calls at three of the Canary Islands (Gran Canaria, Tenerife and Lanzarote) departing early May is perfectly timed to catch the sun.

A 3-night May Bank Holiday Mini Cruise is perfect for the first-time cruiser who wants a taster of a holiday at sea or the experienced cruiser looking to make the most of the bank holiday weekend. Guests will set sail from Southampton late on Friday evening and spend the day in Zeebrugge before returning to Southampton.

There are two opportunities to discover the much-loved Baltic Capitals, on a 12-night cruise departing 31st May or on a 14-night cruise departing 11th September. Offering slightly different itineraries with added highlights on the 14-night itinerary including an overnight stay in the Swedish Capital Stockholm, and a visit to Denmark’s Skagen. Both sailings include an overnight onboard stay in St Petersburg and a visit to Norway’s capital, Oslo.

MSC Magnifica will also offer four different stunning Norwegian Fjord itineraries and will call at two brand new destinations: Skagen in Denmark, renowned for hours of sun and unique light, plus Rosendal in Norway, which is the world’s fourth largest fjord. Other popular ports of call include Flam and Stavanger.

A 14-night Western Mediterranean cruise in August has been developed with families in mind. Departing on the 7th August this no-fly cruise begins with two sea days to give guests a chance to settle in. Then it’s action packed itinerary allows you to explore seven different ports in nine days including a late sail from the fabulous Palma de Mallorca and a visit to the exclusive Monte Carlo.

Norwegian Cruise Line Names Godmother To Norwegian Encore
Norwegian Cruise Line, the innovator in global cruise travel, announced today on "The Kelly Clarkson Show" that GRAMMY Award-winning artist and superstar Kelly Clarkson will serve as the godmother to its newest ship, Norwegian Encore, debuting in Miami in November.

The cruise line's President and Chief Executive Officer Andy Stuart appeared on Clarkson's new nationally syndicated daytime show produced and distributed by NBCUniversal, to invite her to join the Norwegian Cruise Line family as godmother to Norwegian Encore.

As godmother, she will perform at the christening ceremony in Miami on Thursday, Nov. 21, as well as fulfill the longstanding maritime tradition of blessing and officially naming the beautiful Norwegian Encore.

"We knew we wanted someone who represents our core values," said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer. "Kelly is a role model who is passionate about family and community, as well as music and entertainment. These are our passions too! We are honored to have her join our family of godparents and look forward to celebrating Norwegian Encore's debut in Miami with her, this November."

To celebrate her new title as godmother to Norwegian Encore, Clarkson and Norwegian Cruise Line recognized and awarded 20 deserving music educators on "The Kelly Clarkson Show" with a seven-day cruise, showcasing the mutual appreciation for education and travel as a powerful tool that connects people and promotes awareness and understanding around the world.

"I am so honored to be named the godmother to Norwegian Encore, and to get to be a part of such a special ceremony to christen the new ship in Miami," said Kelly Clarkson. "I believe that surrounding yourself with the ones you love and taking time for them is important while having the most amazing and unforgettable vacation, which is what Norwegian Cruise Line stands for and provides for its guests."

Taking the brand's exclusive, stand-out attractions to the next level, Norwegian Encore will feature the world's longest race track at sea at 1,100 feet with four high-speed curves extending up to 13 feet over the side of the ship; the largest outdoor laser tag arena at nearly 10,000 square feet with the addition of augmented reality elements; and new immersive escape room and interactive theatre experiences in the 10,000-square-foot Galaxy Pavilion.

In addition to featuring many of the highly rated restaurants and lounges that have made the Breakaway Plus class one of the most innovative and successful in the company's history, Norwegian Encore will debut a new elevated Italian dining experience, Onda by Scarpetta, in collaboration with LDV Hospitality. The Tony Award-winning musical, "Kinky Boots" will headline the world-class entertainment on board, with returning guest favorites "The Choir of Man," "Happy Hour Prohibition: The Musical" and the rocking Beatles cover band of The Cavern Club.

Launching this fall, Norwegian Encore will offer seven-day voyages to the Eastern Caribbean from Miami beginning Nov. 24, 2019; Bermuda, and Canada and New England itineraries from New York City beginning Apr. 22, 2020; voyages to the Western Caribbean from Miami beginning Dec. 12, 2020; and in the spring of 2021 will make her West Coast debut and sail to Alaska from Seattle.

Viking Announces Partnership With The Upcoming Downton Abbey Film
Viking today announced it has partnered with Focus Features, Universal Pictures and Carnival Films for the release of the new full-length film Downton Abbey, based on the Emmy Award-winning series. Viking became a household name during its sponsorship of the celebrated series MASTERPIECE through the years Downton Abbey aired on PBS, and this new premier partnership builds on the company's continued commitment to enriching cultural programming. Today marks the film's global premiere in London, which will be in U.S. theaters on September 20.

For years Viking has offered a variety of ways for its guests to experience life at Highclere Castle, the filming location of Downton Abbey. In celebration of the premiere, the company today unveiled a new Pre/Post Cruise Extension, Great Homes, Gardens & Gin, which was designed to give guests an exclusive look at several country estates that have served as the settings of acclaimed PBS and MASTERPIECE productions.

Starting in 2021, the new five-day extension will be available on Viking's Rhine Getaway river cruise itinerary and British Isles Explorer ocean cruise itinerary and allows guests to explore Oxford and experience English country life. The program includes Viking's Privileged Access tour of Highclere Castle, as well as a visit to Broughton Castle, home to the influential Fiennes family, whose members include the renowned British explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes and actors Ralph Fiennes and Joseph Fiennes. The castle also served as a setting for the award-winning MASTERPIECE series Wolf Hall. As part of the extension, guests will visit Chavenage House in the Cotswolds, best known for its appearance in the MASTERPIECE series Poldark – and stroll the gardens of Highgrove House, the private home of Charles, The Prince of Wales. While visiting Highclere Castle, guests will have an opportunity to taste the recently-launched Highclere Castle Gin, a super-premium London Dry Gin inspired by botanicals from the castle's gardens. The extension also includes a visit to the nearby Bombay Sapphire Distillery to learn the history and production of gin.

"Many of our guests were introduced to both Viking and Highclere Castle while watching the Downton Abbey series. For this reason, we are linked in the minds of many Downton Abbey fans," said Karine Hagen, Executive Vice President of Viking. "Partnering for the release of the new film is a natural extension of our close relationship with Highclere Castle and our close personal friendship with the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon – with whom we proudly created Viking's highest-rated cruise extension."

"Not only are Viking and Highclere linked through Downton Abbey, but Karine and I are linked through life and our dogs, and we warmly welcome our extended Viking family to explore our home," said Lady Carnarvon.

Today's announcement of the new extension visiting Highclere Castle, the home of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon, builds on the success of Viking's longstanding relationship with the Carnarvon family. In addition to the new Great Homes, Gardens & Gin cruise extension, Viking also offers Oxford & Highclere Castle – its highest-rated Pre/Post Cruise Extension, which is available for guests on select river and ocean cruise itineraries. This Privileged Access extension was co-created and made possible by Karine Hagen and the Carnarvon family. The extension provides guests with an exclusive three-day experience in the rolling hills of England's countryside with a champagne welcome and a tour of the castle and estate.

Earlier this year, Viking also announced the five-day British Collections of Ancient Egypt, a Pre-Cruise Extension for the Pharaohs & Pyramids Nile River cruise itinerary, which gives guests an introduction to Egyptian antiquities in preparation for their Nile experience, and includes retracing the steps of the world's most famous Egyptologist, Howard Carter, and his benefactor, the 5th Earl of Carnarvon. Guests experience Privileged Access to archives and museum exhibits not normally accessible to the public, and at Highclere Castle, have the opportunity view the earl's magnificent private collection of Egyptian artifacts.

Carnival Cruise Line to Deliver Hurricane Relief Supplies to The Bahamas
Continuing its ongoing efforts to assist and support residents of The Bahamas following Hurricane Dorian, Carnival Cruise Line has announced that two ships departing from U.S. homeports next week will make stops in Freeport to distribute food, water and relief supplies.

The stops at Freeport to deliver supplies will be part of Carnival Pride's seven-day cruise from Baltimore departing Sept. 8 and Carnival Liberty's four-day cruise from Port Canaveral departing Sept. 9.

These efforts are in addition to supplies being transported to the Bahamas via the already announced agreement with Tropical Shipping and The Bahamas National Emergency Management Agency to deliver items donated by residents of Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties. A container ship with the first shipment of supplies departed for Freeport this evening.

Additionally, Carnival Corporation's philanthropic arm, Carnival Foundation, and its nine global cruise line brands together with the Micky and Madeleine Arison Family Foundation, have pledged to donate $2 million in funding and in-kind support for hurricane relief efforts in The Bahamas.

Carnival has also asked employees and guests to join the effort through online giving tools, and over the next few days, will ramp up a donation program at its U.S. homeports as guests board their cruises. Organizations supported by these online efforts include Direct Relief and World Central Kitchen.

"The Bahamian people are resilient with an unwavering spirit and Carnival and its employees are fully committed to helping residents rebuild and recover in the aftermath of the storm," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "The devastation of the Bahamas is truly tragic and heartbreaking and we are keeping them in our thoughts as we continue to offer our support and assistance."

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. Commits To $1 Million For Hurricane Relief
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., a leading global cruise company which operates the Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises brands, today announced the relaunch of Hope Starts Here, the company's hurricane relief campaign in partnership with All Hands and Hearts, and pledged a minimum commitment of $1 million toward immediate short-term relief for those affected by Hurricane Dorian.

The Company has also vowed to match donations dollar-for-dollar to assist with rebuilding efforts across the Bahamas, including debris cleanup and removal, and the delivery of supplies and temporary shelters.

"Our hearts are heavy after witnessing the impact and devastation caused by Hurricane Dorian across the Bahamas," said Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. "We have been cruising to these islands for over 50 years and remain committed to its wonderful people during this unprecedented event. Through our partnership with All Hands and Hearts, we vow to match all donations collected to support the country's rebuilding efforts."

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings is also coordinating with local Bahamian authorities to bring needed provisions to the affected areas, as quickly and as humanly possible. On Sept. 5, Norwegian Breakaway will depart Miami with hurricane relief supplies donated by Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and its employees, in addition to items collected by the City of Miami, Baptist Health South Florida, the 305 Gives Back foundation, and other Miami-based organizations, to be delivered to Nassau, Great Harbor Cay, the company's private island Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas.

"We are pleased and humbled to again partner with Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, to bring both immediate and long-term support to those who have so tragically suffered from Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas," said Erik Dyson, chief executive officer of All Hands and Hearts. "We partnered, after Hurricanes Irma and Maria, to help respond to and rebuild communities in Key West, St. Thomas, Tortola, Puerto Rico, and Dominica - this resulted in helping literally tens of thousands of people moving forward on their path to recovery. We look forward to continuing this joint impact working with and for the people of the Bahamas."

In 2017, the company launched Hope Starts Here in partnership with All Hands and Hearts following the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. The company exceeded its goal of $2.5 million in donations to support immediate relief efforts in impacted areas including Key West, Fla.; Puerto Rico; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; St. Maarten; and Dominica, and Tortola, British Virgin Islands where two schools were built following the storms.

To support the hurricane relief efforts of Hope Starts Here with a donation that will be matched by Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., please visit http://www.nclhltd.com/hurricanerelief.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 47.61 + 8.01%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 110.61 + 6.07%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.95 - 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 52.94 + 4.32%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Beginning in March of 1989, Cunard's QE2 was out of service for 72 days. Why was she out of service?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
What was the name of the first new build for Carnival Cruise Lines and what year did she enter service?

Answer - The first new build for Carnival was the Tropicale in 1981.
courtesy of Nigel Kibel


Cruise News - September 2, 2019

Disney Cruise Line Reveals First Details on Newest Ship, New Bahamas Destination
At the recentD23 Expo, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chairman Bob Chapek revealed the highly anticipated name of the fifth Disney Cruise Line ship, as well as a first look at the ship’s elegant, three-story atrium and the iconic Disney character that will adorn the ship’s stern. Chapek and Imagineer Joe Rohde also shared new details about plans for a second island destination for Disney Cruise Line in The Bahamas.

With a little help from Tinker Bell, Disney fans were the first to hear that Disney Wish will be the name of the fifth Disney Cruise Line ship. The Disney Wish is scheduled for delivery in late 2021 and is expected to set sail beginning in January 2022.

“There couldn’t be a better name for our incredible new ship because making wishes come true is part of the Disney DNA and is at the heart of so many of our cherished stories,” Chapek said.

A new rendering provided D23 attendees with a first look at the ship’s bright and airy three-story atrium, inspired by the beauty of an enchanted fairytale.

Stern characters – a beloved hallmark of Disney Cruise Line vessels – have been a tradition of the Disney fleet since the beginning and reflect the theme of each ship. For the Disney Wish, the ship’s stern will feature Rapunzel. Spirited, smart, curious and above all, adventurous, Rapunzel embodies the wish and desire to see and experience the world.

“Each Disney Cruise Line ship is unique, with a name that embodies the excitement of sailing with Disney and the power of our stories. The new ships will have the experiences our guests love, as well as all-new magic,” Chapek added.

The three new ships will be powered by liquefied natural gas and, at approximately 144,000 gross tons and 1,250 guest staterooms, will be slightly larger than the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy.

Disney’s Second Bahamas Destination – Lighthouse Point

Also at the D23 Expo today, Disney revealed new information and two early conceptual artist renderings for its second island destination in The Bahamas, which is located on the breathtaking island of Eleuthera at a place called Lighthouse Point.

“With three new ships joining our fleet, we thought this would be an incredible opportunity to add another unique destination to our ports of call. We looked all over The Bahamas and Caribbean for an ideal location that would enable us to create new experiences, while celebrating the culture of this amazing region,” Chapek said.

Disney Imagineer Joe Rohde, whose work includes the design of Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park in Orlando and Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa in Hawaii, has embarked on an in-depth cultural tour of the Bahamas to meet with local artists and cultural experts. Together, they have explored arts and cultural sites across New Providence and Eleuthera, from Junkanoo shacks to noted art galleries.

“The Lighthouse Point site is so beautiful and so full of nature that we want to preserve this and use our designs to call attention to the extraordinary quality of the place itself – a place of natural beauty with a rich and fascinating cultural tradition,” Rohde said. “We will be directly involved in conservation efforts to preserve and protect the environment that creates this beauty, and we will be working with artists of every kind, much like we did with Aulani in Hawaii, to create a unique destination that is rooted in Bahamian culture and imbued with Disney magic.”

Disney Cruise Line completed its purchase of privately owned Lighthouse Point earlier this year and signed an agreement with the Government of The Bahamas that guides the responsible and sustainable way the site will be developed.

Disney has committed to develop less than 20 percent of the property; employ sustainable building practices, including an open-trestle pier that eliminates the need to dredge a ship channel; establish environmental monitoring programs during construction and operation; and donate more than 190 acres of privately owned land to Government, among other commitments.

Through the Disney Conservation Fund, Disney has provided more than $13 million to marine conservation programs around the globe, including several in The Bahamas. Since 2007, Disney has been directly involved in leading a multiyear initiative to protect and rehabilitate coral reefs in The Bahamas and will continue to work with leading conservation organizations and communities to protect special places there.

Construction at Lighthouse Point will begin only after an Environmental Impact Assessment and Environmental Management Plan are reviewed and accepted by the Government of The Bahamas and public consultation has occurred. Construction could begin in 2020 with completion in late 2022 or 2023.

Royal Caribbean Launches Relief Effort for Bahamas
The Bahamas has always been more than a destination for Royal Caribbean and our guests.

For more than half a century, we've made many friends and many memories. The Bahamas is also home to more than 500 of our colleagues who work at Perfect Day at CocoCay and the Grand Bahama Shipyard.

So in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian, we're rolling up our sleeves to help our friends, and inviting our guests to help.

Royal Caribbean is committing $1 million to Dorian disaster relief, and ITM—our partner in the Holistica joint venture that is developing the Grand Lucayan resort in Freeport—is also donating an additional $100,000.

To make sure our donations go where they can do the most good, we are collaborating with the Bahamian government and our non-profit partner, the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF), and a network of Bahamian charities and other local organizations, including the Bahamas Feeding Network.

We are loading all kinds of goods onto our ships— generators, water, cleaning supplies, clean sheets, towels, and more—for direct delivery to the Bahamas. The trained employee volunteers we call the GO Team are on their way to assist with relief efforts. And we're taking special care of coworkers and their families who were affected by the storm.

And we're matching every dollar of guest and employee donations to PADF so they can help our friends as well.

We can't make every bad memory of Dorian go away. But we can start making things better—today. If you want to contribute please click this LINK and get started.

Disney to Donate Over $1 Million to Bahamas Relief Efforts
The Walt Disney Company, led by Disney Cruise Line, has committed more than $1 million in cash and in-kind support to help relief and recovery efforts for those in The Bahamas affected by Hurricane Dorian, according to a press release.

“The Walt Disney Company stands with the people of The Bahamas affected by Hurricane Dorian,” said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company. “We hope our $1 million donation will provide much-needed relief and help our neighbors, colleagues, and all those impacted by this devastating storm begin the long process of recovery as they work to put their lives and communities back together.”

Disney’s commitment includes a $1 million donation to non-profit relief agencies who will be undertaking recovery and rebuilding efforts, as well as the provision of supplies – including food staples and basic construction materials – to those in impacted areas.

Additionally, Disney employees with immediate needs in impacted areas of The Bahamas will have access to a range of resources. Disney Castaway Cay, which experienced only tropical force strength winds, employs more than 60 Bahamians from Abaco and Grand Bahama, as well as several employees from other Bahamian islands.

“The Bahamas is such a special place to us and our guests, and we have watched the devastation created by Hurricane Dorian with concern and heartache,” Jeff Vahle, president of Disney Cruise Line said. “We stand with the Bahamian people, and especially those in Abaco and Grand Bahama, as they recover from the worst storm to ever make landfall in The Bahamas. As the needs in these communities are assessed, we are prepared to aid the relief and recovery efforts through funding, the provision of supplies and by providing support to our Bahamian Crew Members.”

Carnival Cruise Line Statement Supporting the Bahamas
Carnival Cruise Line, together with Carnival Corporation, today pledged its support to the government and people of The Bahamas as they assess the damage from Hurricane Dorian and begin recovery efforts.

“Our hearts go out to our Bahamian family at this difficult time. We have been in close communication with government officials throughout the weekend and stand ready to provide humanitarian and economic assistance,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “Our focus will be on the priorities as established by government and emergency relief officials.”

Duffy said Carnival remains fully committed to its announced Grand Bahama port development project, which will be an important part of rebuilding the island of Grand Bahama. She also said that Carnival ships will be calling on all of its Bahamian ports, including both Nassau and Freeport, just as soon as they are ready to receive guests. Carnival is also assessing how to help the Grand Bahama shipyard and its employees, as well as our tour operators who support travel and tourism.

Viking Will Attempt To Set Guinness World Record With Ultimate World Cruise
Tomorrow, Viking guests will embark on the new Ultimate World Cruise itinerary, a 245-day journey spanning six continents, 51 countries and 111 ports. Sailing from London on Viking's award-winning 930-guest Viking Sun, the longest-ever continuous cruise will fully circumnavigate the globe bringing guests to some of the world's most legendary cities, iconic landmarks and far-flung destinations, before returning to London in May 2020. In beginning this journey, Viking will attempt to set the GUINNESS WORLD RECORD for the "longest continuous passenger cruise;" upon the return of Viking Sun to London next year, an official GUINNESS WORLD RECORD Adjudicator will confirm the successful attempt with a certificate presentation.

"For more than 20 years we have been committed to connecting travelers to culturally immersive experiences that allow them to explore the world in comfort," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "Our Ultimate World Cruise is the most extensive itinerary available in the industry, nearly double the length of our previous world cruise itineraries. I am pleased to offer such a unique experience for our guests."

Viking's Ultimate World Cruise offers an eight-month journey, allowing guests to explore Scandinavia, the Caribbean and destinations throughout South America before calling on the remote tropical islands of the South Pacific. Viking Sun will then continue its journey along the coast of Australia and through Asia before returning to the Mediterranean and Europe.

Like all Viking itineraries, Ultimate World Cruise guests will enjoy an included excursion in each port of call and free unlimited Wi-Fi; they also receive Business Class airfare and all gratuities and service fees, along with an extensive list of added-value inclusions in their cruise fare. The Viking Way of exploration offers additional, optional excursions that provide insight into Local Life, Working World and offer Privileged Access visits to cultural institutions. Overnight stays in 23 cities allow guests to delve deeper into destinations; and Viking's Culture Curriculum offers additional enrichment on board with regional entertainment and lectures, as well as learning opportunities as part of the Viking Resident Historian program. Full details on the Ultimate World Cruise can be found on Viking's website here; highlights include:

• Greenwich: London at Your Door – Dock in the historic Royal Borough of Greenwich, London, which allows guests easy access to the regal capital's iconic sights, including the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace.

• Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Peak of Brazilian Culture – One of the 23 overnight stays on this itinerary occurs in the historic city of Rio de Janeiro, where guests can witness the larger-than-life Christ the Redeemer statue or relax on the scenic Copacabana and Ipanema beaches of this coastal metropolis.

• Ushuaia, Argentina: "End of the World" – Commonly referred to as the "End of the World," guests will visit Ushuaia, a city perched on a steep hill on the southernmost tip of South America, and explore its lush scenery through excursions to the nearby Escondido and Fagnano Lakes or the Tierra del Fuego National Park, which was first inhabited by humans 10,000 years ago.

• Hobart, Tasmania: An Island of History and Wilderness – The capitol of Australia's island state of Tasmania, Hobart offers guests the chance to learn about its aborigine history and explore its unique wilderness area, including Mt. Wellington, which the city is nestled under.

• Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam: Vibrant Saigon – This eclectic city, home to a mix of modern skyscrapers, French colonial buildings and ornate palaces, offers a variety of experiences for guests, including the Cu Chi Tunnels, the War Remnants Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Reunification Palace.

• Mumbai, India: The Front Door to India – The bustling city of Mumbai, formerly Bombay, is the financial, commercial and entertainment capital of India. While in port, guests can learn about the iconic activist Gandhi at the Mani Bhavan Gandhi Museum and visit the Hanging Gardens, one of the prized few parks found in the busy metropolis.

• Luxor, Egypt: Temples and Tombs – The site of the ancient Egyptian city of Thebes, Luxor is dense with historical monuments for guests to explore, including the Temple of Karnak and the Valley of the Kings & Valley of the Queens, which house the tombs of the Pharaohs and their wives.

Designed for discerning travelers with interests in history, art, music and cuisine, Chairman Torstein Hagen often says Viking offers guests "the thinking person's cruise" as an alternative to mainstream cruises. Ships are small to get guests closer to their destination, with more time in port and more overnights. On board, guests find serene Scandinavian spaces, where every room is both beautiful and functional, quiet and filled with light. With the most al fresco dining opportunities whether on the rivers or at sea, featuring regional cuisine and always-available American classics, Viking's guests can truly dine in their destination. A focus on cultural enrichment brings immersive experiences on shore, on board, and even at home, through premier partnerships such as National Geographic, PBS' MASTERPIECE, Downton Abbey: The Exhibition and the upcoming new film Downton Abbey from Focus Features and Carnival Films, only in theaters this September. And only The Viking Way of exploration provides guests with itineraries that feature Local Life, Working World and Privileged Access experiences. Local Life excursions shine a light on everyday activities and include experiences such as Viking Chef-hosted trips to local farmers markets, tea at home with local residents and visits with local schoolchildren. Working World excursions feature behind-the-scenes "making of" experiences, illuminating destinations through their most famous exports, such as factory and farm visits. Privileged Access excursions include experiences such as a behind-the-scenes tours at Highclere Castle, the "real Downton Abbey;" visiting St. Petersburg's Hermitage Museum "behind closed doors;" a private cooking class in a Tuscan castle; an intimate organ concert in the Berlin Cathedral; and an exclusive dinner in the Churchill War Rooms in London.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 44.08 + 1.38%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 104.28 + 1.75%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.95 - 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 50.75 + 2.75%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
What was the name of the first new build for Carnival Cruise Lines and what year did she enter service?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
When Cunard's Queen Mary departed New York for Europe in July of 1943 she carried a record number of passengers and crew - the most of any passenger vessel in war or peace. How many people did she carry on that historic voyage? (note: the closest answer wins this week's contest)

Answer - The Queen Mary set a record on July 25th 1943 sailing from New York to Gourock with 15.740 passengers and a crew of 943 totalling 16.683
courtesy of liberte50 (at) wtal.de


Cruise News - August 26, 2019

Celebrity Apex Defines The Peak European Experience
With Celebrity Cruises' 2020 Europe season poised to be the line's most "revolutionary" yet, today the brand unveiled four new longer European sailings on board its newest ship, Celebrity Apex, the second ship in the brand's innovative Edge Series.

"Like her industry-changing sister ship, Celebrity Edge – which was just named one of TIME Magazine's 2019 World's Greatest Places1 – Celebrity Apex will feature an innovative outward-facing design and transformational accommodations that invite guests to take in the breathtaking world around them," said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. "Now, with these four new and longer Mediterranean sailings, guests will have the opportunity to enjoy the peak European experience in true Celebrity style."

Among the new sailings on board Celebrity Apex are three 10- and 11-night Eastern Mediterranean sailings and a new 11-night Western Mediterranean sailing. The two 11-night Greece, Malta and Turkey sailings will depart from Rome, Italy, visiting Istanbul, Turkey; Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey; Santorini, Greece; Mykonos, Greece; Athens, Greece; Valletta, Malta; and Barcelona, Spain; while on the 10-night Greece, Malta and Turkey cruise, guests will be immersed in eight beautiful ports, including Barcelona, Spain; Crete, Greece; Santorini, Greece; Mykonos, Greece; Kusadasi, Turkey; Athens, Greece; Naples, Italy; and Rome, Italy. The one-of-a-kind 11-night Spain, France and Italian Riviera expedition will sail round-trip out of Barcelona, Spain, calling Provence (Marseille), France; Monte Carlo, Monaco; Nice, France; Santa Margherita, Italy; Rome, Italy; Naples, Italy; Palma De Mallorca, Spain; and Valencia, Spain.

From impeccable accommodations, including Edge Staterooms with Infinite Verandas and two-story Edge Villas with outdoor plunge pools, to 29 world-class culinary venues, Celebrity Apex has it all. Following the ship's Southampton debut, Celebrity Apex will offer a mini season of five sailings to European destinations, including the Norwegian Fjords and the northern coasts of Spain and Portugal. Aboard the game-changing new vessel travelers can experience a new 10-night Capital Cities Cruise with visits to iconic cities including Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Oslo and Paris.

After Celebrity Apex's Northern Europe mini season, she'll spend the rest of her inaugural summer sailing seven- to 12-night itineraries in the Mediterranean, with visits to bucket-list destinations such as Lisbon, Portugal; Istanbul; Monte Carlo; Cannes, France; and more. Intrigued European explorers are able to book cruises on board Celebrity Apex now. For more details on Celebrity Apex and the exciting new sailings being offered, visit www.celebritycruises.com/cruise-ships/celebrity-apex.

Joining Celebrity Apex in Europe is her award-winning sister ship, Celebrity Edge, and the newly revolutionized Celebrity Silhouette and Celebrity Constellation – featuring new staterooms and suites, new public spaces, and new luxurious designs. An exciting addition to the European itineraries is Trieste, Italy, and the first-ever mini season of sailings from Lisbon, that includes overnight stays in this incredible city. Country-immersive sailings are also being introduced that focus on Italy and Greece, designed to give guests an ever greater, in-depth experience. Celebrity will be returning to Istanbul and Kusadasi, Turkey, and Oslo, Norway, featuring overnight stays in the land of the midnight sun, as well as offering overnight stays in the guest-favorite cities of Dublin, Ireland, and Reykjavik, Iceland. Celebrity's European itineraries will offer incredible choice, with over 90 destinations and 48 overnights, so travelers have more ways to explore Europe like never before, all while sailing on an award-winning fleet of modern luxury ships.

Princess Unveils Summer 2021 Caribbean Cruises
Families seeking top-rated beaches, colorful cultures and ancient ruins can count on Princess Cruises to offer them the ultimate sun-kissed vacation with its summer 2021 season to the Eastern and Western Caribbean.

The family-friendly Caribbean Princess will sail all itineraries, providing 16 departures on three itineraries sailing roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale, departing May through July 2021. Cruises go on sale September 18, 2019. Caribbean Princess also offers guests the MedallionClass experience including expedited embarkation, keyless stateroom entry, on-demand food and beverage delivery, the ability to locate friends and family and more.

Caribbean Princess ranked as one of the best cruise lines in the Eastern Caribbean, Bahamas & Bermuda (Large Cruise Ship Category) in Cruise Critic's fourth annual Cruisers' Choice Destination Awards. Here are a few top reasons to experience the Caribbean with Princess Cruises:

Itineraries to Celebrate
Discover the many regions of the Caribbean, from the sun-drenched beaches in the Eastern Caribbean to the mysterious Mayan ruins in the Western Caribbean. Guests can choose from seven-day Eastern or Western itineraries, or longer 14-day itineraries providing a blend of both regions. Options include:

Eastern Caribbean – Seven-day cruises sailing roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale on Caribbean Princess visiting Princess Cays, St. Thomas and St. Kitts depart June 5, 19, July 3, 17 2021. Guests can expect to see world famous beaches, while participating in water activities suited for guests of all ages.

Western Caribbean – Seven-day cruise sailing roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale on Caribbean Princess visiting Grand Cayman, Roatan, Belize City and Cozumel depart May 29, June 12, 26, July 10, 2021. Passengers will have the opportunity to learn about the Mayan Ruins, while immersing themselves in the rich culture of the Caribbean.

Eastern and Western Caribbean – 14-day cruises sailing roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale on Caribbean Princess visiting Princess Cays, St. Thomas, St. Kitts, Ft. Lauderdale, Grand Cayman, Belize City and Cozumel depart May 22, 29, June 5, 12, 19, 26, July 3, 10 2021. These itineraries combine the best of the Eastern and Western Caribbean offering picturesque beaches to historical ruins.

Authentic Immersion

Families discover island life, taste new foods and dance to local melodies, with Princess Cruises onboard program Rhythm of the Caribbean. Offerings include concerts, crafts, Parrots in the Piazza and enthralling presentations by shark experts, treasure hunters and more. The cuisine includes a diverse fusion of flavors drawn from the Caribbean's coast, including dishes like Jamaican jerk chicken, red snapper and Creole black mussels.

Spend Time with the Family The Caribbean is the perfect destination for families to enjoy adventures such as swimming with stingrays, snorkeling around a shipwreck and ziplining through the jungle. On board, they can play steel drums, explore Discovery at SEA activities for all ages, watch a blockbuster on Movies Under the Stars or enjoy time in the sun or shade at The Reef Outdoor Splash Zone.

Explore More

Parents can choose to immerse their kids in amazing destinations with in-depth excursions for every interest. Only Princess Cruises offers Discovery and Animal Planet tours that the whole family will love including shore excursions to UNESCO World Heritage sites like the Belize Barrier Reef and Brimstone Hill Fortress in St. Kitts. With "More Ashore" late night stays in St. Thomas and Cozumel, guests can enjoy beautiful sunsets, island life and evening tours.

Princess Cruises' private island, Princess Cays, is an oasis for all kinds of adventures from relaxing on white-sand beaches and unwinding in a private cabana to swimming with stingrays and enjoying water sports. Plus, the best Wi-Fi at sea, MedallionNet, is also available on Princess Cays so guests can stay connected and share their vacations memories with ease.

Freedom of the Seas Sceheduled for $116 Million Refit
A bolder and reimagined Freedom of the Seas will redefine island hopping in the Southern Caribbean, following a $116 million amplification. Royal Caribbean International has announced the high-energy features and guest favorites that will come aboard, including The Perfect Storm duo of waterslides, a redesigned Caribbean poolscape, a new take on a signature venue with Giovanni's Italian Kitchen and completely transformed kids and teens spaces. Starting March 2020, the newly amplified Freedom will set sail from San Juan, Puerto Rico on 7-night Southern Caribbean cruises to idyllic destinations, from Saint Lucia and Antigua to the ABC islands – Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao.

All-day Thrills on Deck
Vacationers can up the ante with more ways to play joining fan favorites like the FlowRider surf simulator, mini-golf and the rock-climbing wall.

• The Perfect Storm, the heart-pumping duo of racer waterslides, is three stories of adventure that will take excitement off the charts. On Cyclone and Typhoon, guests are in for the ultimate race as they go head to head through twists and turns for bragging rights

• A reimagined poolscape comes to life with all-day Caribbean vibes, a larger variety of seating and shade with casitas, daybeds and hammocks, and the Splashaway Bay aquapark for the youngest travelers. For downtime, guests can escape to the renewed, adults-only Solarium

• The Lime & Coconut, Royal Caribbean's new, poolside signature bar, is at the center of it all. The three-level spot serves up live music, a lineup of cocktails and a rooftop deck for a bird's eye view of the action

Next-level Culinary Delights
Freedom's amplification will also introduce more dining venues, spanning Italian, Asian and Mexican cuisine, tantalizing guests' taste buds more than ever.

• Giovanni's Italian Kitchen is a fresh, new twist on a guest favorite. Vacationers can have their pick from authentic Italian dishes with a contemporary flair, including made-to-order pizzas hand tossed front and center, and baked in the new, in-house pizza oven. With a wide selection of wines and limoncellos on the reimagined menu, it's "Sunday supper" Royal Caribbean style

• Izumi Hibachi & Sushi, the Asian-inspired restaurant with teppanyaki tables and a sushi bar, features a variety of hot and cold appetizers, entrees, desserts and more

• Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade, where everybody wins. Guests can catch their home team on more than 80 TV screens, hit "play" on any one of the arcade games, and refuel with a menu of classic bar bites and ice-cold brews on tap

• El Loco Fresh will sit poolside and offer fresh grab-and-go Mexican fare, from tacos and burritos, to quesadillas, along with an array of salsas for an extra kick. For the first time, the venue will include a full-service bar with a selection of tequilas on offer

Playtime Reimagined
Adding to the roster of activities on board, Royal Caribbean will offer glow-in-the-dark laser tag adventure Clash for the Crystal City, and the debut of a floor-to-ceiling redesign of Freedom's dedicated teens spaces and award-winning Adventure Ocean.

• Adventure Ocean takes on a whole new look after a makeover that will touch every inch of the spaces specially designed for babies and kids. The imaginative layout encourages young vacationers to venture into a world of interactive experiences, from thought-provoking exploration at Play Place to art, science and tech activities at Workshop, and friendly challenges at Arena. Kicking back is just as fun with gaming consoles and places to chill at Hangout. Babies and 3- to 5-year-olds will each have personalized areas with AO Babies and AO Junior

• Teens will rejoice at their exclusive hangout, entirely transformed to feature the latest in movies, gaming and music, plus a new, private outdoor deck

Beginning March 8, 2020, the reimagined Freedom will sail 7-night, roundtrip Southern Caribbean cruises from San Juan. The year-round itineraries are set to visit tropical locales in the region, including Oranjestad, Aruba; Willemstad, Curacao; Castries, Saint Lucia; Bridgetown, Barbados; Saint Johns, Antigua; and Kralendijk, Bonaire. For more details on the new, bold Freedom of the Seas, visit www.royalcaribbean.com.

Freedom joins her sister, Independence of the Seas, as part of the Royal Amplified fleet modernization effort. An investment of more than $1 billion across 10 ships in four years, Royal Caribbean's program touches every facet of the guest experience and introduces a wide range of new adventures spanning one-of-a-kind attractions and experiential dining and nightlife.

AIDA Cruises Partners with Corvus Energy to Introduce Use of Battery Power in Cruising
Carnival Corporation today announced that its popular German brand AIDA Cruises has signed an agreement with Corvus Energy, the world's leading marine battery supplier. The agreement, signed August 20, is another significant step in Carnival Corporation's leadership in environmentally friendly ship design and operations.

The installation and operation of lithium-ion battery storage systems onboard the AIDA Cruises fleet begins with the electrification of the first AIDA ship in 2020. The goal of the partnership is to – for the first time – allow for the practical use of electrical energy from battery storage systems onboard large cruise ships.

AIDA's pilot program in electrification will test the system's use of stored battery power for emission-free ship operation for an extended period as well as to meet onboard energy needs. Following the pilot electrification program aboard an AIDA vessel, the effort will expand to Carnival Corporation's popular Italian brand, Costa Cruises.

Michael Thamm, CEO of Costa Group and Carnival Asia, said of the partnership, "Our goal is to reach emission-neutral ship operation. The electrification of our ships is another important step on this path. Thanks to the cooperation with Corvus Energy, in just a few months AIDA Cruises will for the first time launch this innovative technology on a large cruise ship."

One of the most renowned suppliers of marine batteries, Norwegian-Canadian company Corvus Energy is a pioneer in the development of maritime energy storage systems. The introduction of battery power to ships is the latest in a series of innovations that supports Carnival Corporation's "green cruising" strategy, which includes the introduction of new technologies, approaches and investments in sustainable cruising.

In December 2018, AIDA Cruises made history with the introduction of the world's first cruise ship capable of being powered in port and at sea by liquefied natural gas (LNG), the world's cleanest burning fossil fuel. The introduction of LNG to power cruise ships is a major achievement in green cruising that supports the company's environmental goals with the virtual total elimination of sulfur dioxide emissions (zero emissions) and particulate matter (95% to 100% reduction). The use of LNG will also substantially reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides and carbon dioxide.

In total, Carnival Corporation has an additional 10 next-generation "green" cruise ships on order, including Costa Smeralda, which will be the second of the corporation's ships to be powered by LNG when it joins the Costa Cruises fleet in October.

The company is also pioneering the use of Advanced Air Quality Systems, often referred to as exhaust gas cleaning systems, or "scrubbers." As of July 2019, Advanced Air Quality Systems have been installed on 77 of the more than 100 ships in the Carnival Corporation fleet. The systems remove almost all of sulfur oxide emissions, 75% of all particulate matter and reduce nitrogen oxide emissions.

AIDA Cruises' newest ship, AIDAnova, was recently named the first-ever cruise ship to be awarded the Blue Angel certification by Germany's Federal Ministry for the Environment for its environmentally friendly ship design. Since 2000, every ship built for AIDA Cruises has "cold ironing" or shore power capabilities, which allow for connecting directly into the land-based electrical grid while in port where the infrastructure is available. With "cold ironing," the air emissions are managed and regulated under the emission control requirements at the power plant supplying the port. By the end of 2020, 12 of AIDA's 14 ships will be able to use shore power where available.

In addition, AIDA is also exploring the use of CO2-free production of liquefied gas from renewable sources through its "Power to Gas" project. The brand also plans to test its first onboard fuel cell in 2021, in cooperation with the Meyer Werft shipyard and other partners. By the end of 2023, 94% of all AIDA guests will travel on ships that can be fully powered by low-emission LNG or shore power where possible.

Princess Announces 2021 Cruises and Cruisetours to Canada & New England
Princess Cruises, one of the world's largest international premium cruise lines, announced its 2021 Canada & New England cruise and cruisetour season. Caribbean Princess and Sky Princess, one of the cruise line's newest ships – will bring passengers to destinations rich in history and savory seafood, including unique seaside towns along the east coast. Also offered this season is the opportunity to see the breathtaking landscapes of Greenland, the world's largest island.

Both ships offer the Princess MedallionClass experience including expedited embarkation, on-demand food and beverage delivery, the ability to locate your friends and family and more. Voted #1 Cruise Line for U.S. & Canada by Cruise Critic, the 2021 Canada & New England program goes on sale September 18, 2019, and features 16 departures, visiting 18 destinations on six itineraries ranging in length from seven to 16 days.

Top reasons to experience Canada & New England with Princess Cruises during the July – October 2021 season, include:

Unique Itineraries
Whether it's trekking through colonial history in Boston, surveying quaint towns along the coast, or savoring world-famous Maine lobster, guests experience the popular attractions, as well as the hidden gems on the array of itineraries offered:

• Seven-day Canada & New England on Sky Princess – Roundtrip from NYC visiting Newport, Boston, Bar Harbor, Saint John, Halifax. Cruises depart Sept. 18, 25, Oct. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, 2021

• 10-day Canada & New England on Caribbean Princess –NYC to Quebec visiting Newport, Boston, Bar Harbor, Saint John, Halifax, Sydney, Charlottetown. Cruises depart Sept 1, 21, Oct. 11, 2021

• 10-day Canada & New England on Caribbean Princess – Quebec to NYC visiting Saguenay, Charlottetown, Sydney, Halifax, Bar Harbor, Boston. Cruises depart Aug. 6, Sept. 11, Oct. 1, 2021.

• 13-day Canada & Colonial America on Caribbean Princess – Ft. Lauderdale to Quebec visiting Charleston, New York City, Newport, Boston, Portland, Saint John, Halifax. Cruise departs July 24, 2021.

• 14-day Canada & Colonial America on Caribbean Princess – Quebec to Ft. Lauderdale visiting Saguenay, Sept Îles, Sydney, Halifax, Saint John, Bar Harbor, Boston, Newport, New York City, Charleston. Cruise departs Oct. 21, 2021.

• 16-day Greenland & Canada on Caribbean Princess – Roundtrip NYC visiting Halifax, Sydney, Nuuk, Qaqortoq, Nanortalik, St. John. Cruise departs Aug 16, 2021

One-of-a Kind Excursions
Guests can enjoy a variety of in-depth shore excursions from an authentic lobster bake to exploring historical landmarks like the Boston Commons, the Massachusetts State House, King's Chapel and the Old South Meeting House, to name a few. Plus, they can also choose from the cruise line's award-winning Discovery and Animal Planet tours.

The Cruise Choice for Food Lovers
From culinary creations by award-winning Chef Curtis Stone to local specialties like New England crab, cold-water lobster and craft cocktails like the Boston Cream Pie Martini, guests will experience the local flavors in a whole new way.

More Time to Explore Ashore
The cruise line's "More Ashore" late night port calls (departing at 9pm or later) lets guests explore Boston or Charleston at their own pace with plenty of time to return to the ship. With overnight stays in Quebec on select sailings, plenty of time is available to sample the scenic streets of this iconic city.

In-Depth Cruisetours
Princess Cruises makes it effortless to combine cruises with multi-day land tours to historic places including:

• Historic America Cruisetour - takes guests to such important places as Thomas Jefferson's Monticello estate, Colonial Williamsburg, Independence Hall in Philadelphia and the Gettysburg Battlefield.

• The Maple Explorer Cruisetour - brings guests to beautiful Niagara Falls; exciting cities like the capital of Ottawa and French-flavored Montreal with guided tours of the Canadian Museum of Civilization, dazzling cathedrals and the historic 19th century Rideau Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 43.48 - 4.94%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 102.49 - 4.89%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.95 - 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 49.48 - 3.64%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
When Cunard's Queen Mary departed New York for Europe in July of 1943 she carried a record number of passengers and crew - the most of any passenger vessel in war or peace. How many people did she carry on that historic voyage? (note: the closest answer wins this week's contest)

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which ocean liner and cruise ship has the distinction of having sailed with one, two and three funnels over her long career?

Answer - The "Queen of Bermuda" is the only liner/cruise ship ever to have had 3, 2, or even 1 funnel during her service. She was built with 3 funnels in the 1930s, during WW II she has 2 funnels, after the war she was refitted with 3 funnels, and, during the early 1960s she was refitted with 1 funnel during a modernization in order to make her appear more like her newer sister ship "Ocean Monarch". Larry Macdonald, Belmont MA USA
courtesy of Lary P. McDonald


Cruise News - August 19, 2019

Norwegian Encore Floated Out
Norwegian Cruise Line, the innovator in global cruise travel, today announced that its latest ship, Norwegian Encore, successfully completed a major construction milestone, when it emerged for the first time from the Meyer Werft ship building dock in Papenburg, Germany.

Norwegian Encore will remain in the shipyard port for the final phase of construction, before her conveyance up the Ems River and towards the North Sea at the end of September. At nearly 1,100 feet long, with a gross tonnage of almost 170,000 and a guest capacity of 3,998, the ship will be delivered to the cruise line on Oct. 30, 2019. She will be christened in Miami on Nov. 21, 2019 and will commence seven-day voyages to the Caribbean on Nov. 24, 2019.

“To see the ship emerge from the shipyard is always one of the most exciting construction milestones,” said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. “Our partners at Meyer Werft have been committed to our vision for not only Norwegian Encore, but for this industry leading class of ships, supporting our dedication to delivering our guests the best cruise vacation at sea.”

Taking the brand’s exclusive, stand-out attractions to the next level, Norwegian Encore will feature the world’s longest race track at sea at 1,100 feet with four high-speed curves extending up to 13 feet over the side of the ship; the largest outdoor laser tag arena at nearly 10,000 square feet with the addition of augmented reality elements; and new immersive escape room and interactive theatre experiences in the 10,000-square-foot Galaxy Pavilion.

In addition to featuring many of the highly rated restaurants and lounges that have made the Breakaway Plus class one of the most innovative and successful in the company’s history, Norwegian Encore will debut a new elevated Italian dining experience, Onda by Scarpetta, in collaboration with LDV Hospitality. The Tony Award-winning musical, “Kinky Boots” will headline the world-class entertainment on board, with returning guest favorites “The Choir of Man,” “Happy Hour Prohibition: The Musical” and the rocking Beatles cover band of The Cavern Club.

Launching this fall, Norwegian Encore will offer seven-day voyages to the Eastern Caribbean from Miami beginning Nov. 24, 2019; Bermuda, and Canada and New England itineraries from New York City beginning Apr. 22, 2020; voyages to the Western Caribbean from Miami beginning Dec. 12, 2020; and in the spring of 2021 will make her West Coast debut and sail to Alaska from Seattle.

Carnival Panorama Nearing Completion
Carnival Cruise Line’s newest ship, Carnival Panorama, is entering the final stages of construction with interior and exterior outfitting being completed and crew members beginning to arrive at the Fincantieri shipyard in Marghera, Italy in preparation for its repositioning to southern California and her Dec. 11, 2019 inaugural voyage. The third in the highly successful Vista-class, Carnival Panorama will be the line’s first new ship homeported on the West Coast in 20 years.

Spaces like the multi-level atrium with a stunning Dreamscape LED display, the Choose Fun-themed WaterWorks aqua park and tropics-inspired Havana section are nearly completed. Carnival Panorama will also be the first cruise ship to offer a Sky Zone trampoline park.

Led by Housekeeping Managers Sasa Jovanovic and Clayton Clarence, the ship’s housekeeping team is already on site ready for the loading of stateroom amenities, including nearly 6,000 mattresses, 13,000 pillows, 43,000 sheets and 100,000 towels.

Carnival Panorama is scheduled to enter service Dec. 11 with a three-day inaugural voyage to Ensenada followed by the launch of year-round seven-day cruises featuring popular Mexican Riviera ports including Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas beginning Dec. 14, 2019.

Cunard Sets Scene for New Feature Film
This week, August 18-24, Cunard's luxury ocean liner Queen Mary 2 will provide the setting for a new film by Oscar winning filmmaker Steven Soderbergh ("Oceans 11," "Traffic" and "Behind the Candelabra") with an Oscar and Emmy award-winning cast and crew.

The movie, "Let Them All Talk" (a working title) is being filmed on Cunard's flagship Queen Mary 2 on her iconic seven-day Transatlantic Crossing from New York to Southampton. HBO Max has acquired rights to the film and stars Meryl Streep, Candice Bergen, Gemma Chan, Lucas Hedges and Dianne Wiest. Gregory Jacobs is producing, with Ken Meyer and Joseph Malloch executive producing.

For onboard movie buffs, Queen Mary 2 guests will have the exciting opportunity to appear in the film as extras.

"It's thrilling to have Steven Soderbergh and his stellar cast filming their new movie on our flagship Queen Mary 2," said Josh Leibowitz, SVP Cunard North America. "Our guests will have a rare opportunity to be part of a major Hollywood feature film, and join Cunard's rich legacy with the entertainment industry."

Cunard has a long history of hosting stars of stage and screen onboard their iconic ships. Luminaries such as Elizabeth Taylor, Rita Hayworth, Wes Anderson, and Tilda Swinton have all sailed with the line. Sting performed a set in Queen Mary 2's Royal Court Theatre; Ed Sheeran wrote part of his last album on a Crossing; and Francis Ford Coppola sailed recently to work on his book while at sea. In December 2017, Queen Mary 2 hosted the first ever major movie premiere with the star-studded event for 20th Century Fox's "The Greatest Showman" starring Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams, Zac Efron, Rebecca Ferguson, and Zendaya.

New Production Show "Rock Opera," debuting onboard Sky Princess & Enchanted Princess
Princess Cruises announced today its newest production show, Rock Opera. Debuting onboard Sky Princess (December 2019) and Enchanted Princess (June 2020), this one-of-a-kind production will feature incredible costumes inspired by glamorous avant garde fashion with a musical soundtrack spanning classic rock, opera and musical theater. It will be brought to life by special guest tenor and America's Got Talent Alum Brian Justin Crum.

Rock Opera was created exclusively for Princess Cruises by Director and Choreographer Danny Teeson, Musical Arranger Nelson Kole, Scenic Designer John Lacovelli and Costume Designer Jackson Lowell.

"Rock Opera takes our guests on a musical journey, featuring our 8-piece live orchestra playing iconic rock songs. Our production and costume design team were inspired by one of New York City's most glamorous evenings of the year, the Met Gala," said Denise Saviss, Princess Cruises' vice president of entertainment experience. "Sky Princess and Enchanted Princess guests should anticipate an unforgettable evening of music that transcends language and celebrates the diversity of our crew and guests from around the world. Rock Opera features songs in English, Spanish, Latin and a Princess first – sign language."

World-Class Rock Tenor Brian Justin Crum, of America's Got Talent: The Champions, will join the talented singers, dancers and musicians for the inaugural season of Sky Princess.

A native of San Diego, California, Crum brings his pure vocal tone, broad range and high contrast emotional delivery that found him success in the world of musical theater and on the Billboard charts. He's performed with several Broadway companies before launching a pop career with credits including Wicked, Grease, Next to Normal and touring companies of The Addams Family and We Will Rock You. He found a broader audience in 2016 as a finalist on NBC's America's Got Talent, finishing in fourth place. That same year, he released Show Me Love, which made its way to the top of the Billboard Dance Charts.

Rock Opera's creative team includes:

Director and Choreographer Danny Teeson – choreographed for Grammy Award-winning artists Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson and Paula Abdul and Brit Award winners Robbie Williams and Tom Jones, with whom he won the VH1 Best Video Award for Sex Bomb. Teeson has acted as Carrie Underwood's creative director, conceptualizing and directing her Carnival Ride Tour, ACM Awards performance and was seen on Oxygen Networks hit show Dance Your Ass Off as a resident judge. Teeson also created and choreographed the award-winning show for Princess Cruises - Fantastic Journey which won a Themed Entertainment Association award for Outstanding Achievement.

Musical Arranger Nelson Kole – began his career on the Las Vegas strip where he accompanied headliners such as Frank Sinatra, Dionne Warwick, Gladys Knight and the Pips and soon became musical director/arranger for Don Rickles and Ben Vereen. As arranger and musical director of the 2009 Academy Awards, Kole worked with Beyoncé, Hugh Jackman, Vanessa Hudgens, Zac Efron and Queen Latifah.

Scenic Designer John Lacovelli – won the Emmy Award for his production design of the A&E presentation of Peter Pan, staring Cathy Rigby, which was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Revival. His television production design credits include The Old Settler, The Gin Game, Ed, Babylon and Resurrection Blvd. He's received the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle for Lifetime Achievement in Scenic Design and is a member of The Art Directors Guild.

Costume Designer Jackson Lowell – has designed costumes for many celebrities and concert tours including Katy Perry, Pink, Paula Abdul, Jennifer Aniston, Cate Blanchett, Cindy Crawford, Elton John, Brad Pitt, Barbra Streisand and Usher. His television show credits include American Idol, Desperate Housewives, Grey's Anatomy, Ugly Better, Lost, Private Practice and Scrubs. Lowell has also designed for many notable dance companies, including Hubbard Street Dance Company, Paul Taylor, San Francisco Ballet, Twyla Tharp, Oakland Dance Company and Philadanco.

Seabourn Launche Seabourn Private Air
Seabourn announced this week the launch of an exciting new offering for guests headed for the most memorable journeys on the seas. Introducing Seabourn Private Air, a new private chartered jet service available for exclusive transportation to-and-from ports of call, and for mid-voyage overland options for Seabourn cruises all over the world, with bookings opening August 15.

Designed for guests who prefer the luxuries and conveniences of private jet travel to those offered by commercial carriers, Seabourn Private Air utilizes a global network of operators who adhere to the highest international and U.S. Federal Aviation Administration standards, and who appreciate what it means to provide exceptional service with a fleet of private jets that include a range of sizes and models. The Seabourn Private Air service will be able to accommodate groups of any size upon request, with available aircraft including light charter jets capable of carrying 5-8 passengers; mid-size jets sized for 7-8 passengers; and heavy private jets with capacity for 9-16 passengers. Pricing will vary by itinerary and aircraft.

"Time is an incredible luxury and as an ultra-luxury travel operator for three decades, we are always seeking new ways to enhance our guest experience. Seabourn Private Air will provide a world of comforts and conveniences for Seabourn guests en route to or from their cruise of a lifetime," said Chris Austin, Seabourn's senior vice president of Global Marketing & Sales.

Unlike many jet card or fractional options on the market today, Seabourn Private Air is designed to provide a guest up front, comprehensive pricing* for the private jet package, which is a similar standard to the Seabourn cruise itself where all dining venues are complimentary, as are selections of fine wines and premium spirits. Guests pay for the aircraft rather than by the seat, so the more passengers onboard, the lower the cost per person. The cost of the Private Air package is offered in addition to the cruise fare.

Amenities and services of the comprehensive Seabourn Private Air package include:

• Access to thousands of airports, large and small, that serve private aviation, as well as to most major international airports

• WiFi internet capability

• Private Valet luggage service

• Seabourn-standard catering options

• Seabourn-brand food & beverages on every flight, including Regiis Ova caviar, K+M Chocolates, Montaudon champagne, and a range of complementary spirits

• Amenities by Seabourn's signature fragrance partner, Molton Brown

• Complimentary transfers to-and-from home to the nearest airport and onward to Seabourn's cruise port**

• Cabin attendants, required on some aircraft, or available upon request*** if not required by aircraft

• Next port protection up to 1,000 miles from original destination.

*Private Air fares are separate from the cruise fare **Mileage limitations apply ***For an additional charge

Regardless of the jet type or passenger capacity, every aircraft offered through Seabourn Private Air will include a variety of conveniences and comforts in keeping with Seabourn standards. And, just like those enjoyed by Seabourn guests at sea, all of the above are included in the flight cost.

Carnival Corporation's Costa Crociere Foundation and Sahara Forest Join Forces for Sustainable Farming in Desert of Jordan
Carnival Corporation today announced that its Costa Crociere Foundation has joined forces with the Sahara Forest Project Foundation to enlarge an innovative initiative to re-vegetate the desert in Jordan with sustainable technologies. The partnership became official August 12 during a signing ceremony with Michael Thamm, Group CEO of Costa Group and Carnival Asia, and Lars Myren, chairman of the Sahara Forest Project Foundation, onboard the historic sailing ship Statsraad Lehmkuhl at Arendalsuka in Norway.

The mission of the Sahara Forest Project – inaugurated under the patronage of His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan and HRH Crown Prince Haakon of Norway in September 2017 – is to vegetate desert areas and create local green jobs through production of food, freshwater and clean energy, using saltwater and sunlight as the main input factors.

The partnership between Carnival Corporation's Costa Crociere Foundation and the Sahara Forest Project Foundation represents a concrete step forward for the project in Jordan.

The support from Costa Group – through its two brands, Italy-based Costa Cruises and Germany-based AIDA Cruises – will allow the project to scale up to 20 hectares of commercial facility, with every vegetable produced removing CO2 from the atmosphere and storing it in re-vegetated land. This initiative aligns with Costa Group's commitment to sustainable innovation and value creation, as well as with the Costa Crociere Foundation's mission to promote social and environmental improvement.

An important part of the agreement is represented by the involvement of guests sailing with Costa Cruises and AIDA Cruises. Guests cruising on Costa and AIDA ships calling at Aqaba will have the unique chance to taste, for the very first time, at least 10 different environmentally friendly vegetables produced by using solar power and saltwater in the Jordan desert, through special recipes created by the executive chefs of the two cruise companies to emphasize their taste and quality.

"The Sahara Forest Project is proud to join forces with a global leader within the tourism industry," said Myren of the Sahara Forest Project. "The new long-term agreement for the supply of vegetables to Costa and AIDA ships will pave the way for an expansion of our project in Jordan, while raising international awareness for the need to scale up innovative solutions to combat global warming and create local jobs in desert areas. In 2050 there will be almost 10 billion people on the planet who will need sustainably produced food, fresh water and clean energy. It is urgent to prove that it is possible to shift away from current agricultural practices traditionally using 80% of scarce freshwater resources and contributing to 25% of CO2 emissions in many dry countries and scale up concepts that are good for the environment, social development and business."

"We are proud to support this groundbreaking project that represents a model for future sustainable farming in desert areas," added Costa Group's Thamm. "By supporting the Sahara Forest Project, we serve our guests vegetables grown in a way that fights the spread of deserts and creates a sound livelihood for the local population, in line with our sustainable development strategy and our concrete commitment to creating a greener planet. Costa Group is leading the cruise industry when it comes to sustainability, as demonstrated by the introduction of the first-ever LNG-powered cruise ship less than a year ago and by the significant investments in shore power and innovative technologies for a zero-emission future."

Currently, the Sahara Forest Project operates a three-hectare commercial size facility 12 kilometers north of the Jordanian port of Aqaba, combining saltwater-cooled greenhouses, solar energy panels and different techniques for outdoor re-vegetation in dry areas. The governments of Jordan and Norway, the European Union Commission and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) have been crucial in financing and supporting the unique facility.

From October 2019 to October 2020, four Costa ships (Costa Mediterranea, Costa Victoria, Costa Diadema and Costa Deliziosa) and four AIDA ships (AIDAvita, AIDAbella, AIDAprima and AIDAblu) will be visiting Aqaba, for a total of 20 calls, bringing more than 45,000 guests.

Princess Cruises 10th Annual Relaxation Report Finds Most of the World Still Not Getting Enough Sleep
One of the world's largest international premium cruise lines, Princess Cruises, in collaboration with Wakefield Research, today revealed the findings of its 10th Annual Relaxation survey. With ten years of data analyzing the sleep and vacation habits of adults, this year's survey reinforces the stress and lack of relaxation experienced by adults globally. Results from the survey show more than half of those surveyed are getting less sleep than they need (52%) – a decrease of one percent from last year.

Taking time off is one of the ways for adults to relax and de-stress. The survey found that over half of those surveyed (58%) took all of the vacation days available to them in the last year. At 68%, UK respondents were the best at taking all of their vacation days, while Australians came in last at 43%. Just ahead of Australia and Indonesia (52%), 54% of Americans reported utilizing all of their time off. However, when using their vacation days, 81% of those who are employed take days off to catch up on sleep – an increase of four percent.

Princess Cruises is committed to ensuring its guests come back from vacation feeling refreshed, renewed and rejuvenated. As part of its Come Back New Promise, and commitment to inspire vacations Princess Cruises partnered with board-certified sleep expert, Dr. Michael Breus to develop the Princess Luxury Bed offering guests the ultimate night of sleep at sea.

"Sleep allows our bodies to recharge and recover from mental and physical strains, which is important for overall health. Year over year, we continue to see how the lack of sleep negatively impacts people around the globe," said Dr. Breus. "As people continue to take less vacation time, we know it's more important than ever for people to maximize their time off. I'm proud to collaborate with Princess Cruises, one of the best known names in relaxation, to offer passengers the award-winning Princess Luxury Bed for them to lay their heads on at night."

Rewards of Relaxation

• Commitment to Relax – An overwhelming majority of adults (85%) set aside time specifically dedicated for relaxation on a weekly or more basis, increasing slightly from 84% in 2018.

• Good Practice – Regular relaxation can become a way of life. More than 3 in 5 (61%) of those who set time aside every week to relax used all of their paid time off, compared to 40% of those who did not make time to relax every week.

Relaxation Among Couples and Families

• Worn Out – Working parents (53%) are more likely than non-parents (41%) to take a week or more off every year to catch up on sleep.

• Maxing Out – Working people who are married or in a relationship (63%) were more likely to have used all of their paid time off in the last year, compared to those who are not married or in a relationship (46%).

Some Global Comparisons

The Most Sleep Deprived Countries – Findings show that US adults are getting more sleep than last year. However, in the UK, adults are getting less sleep compared to 2018.

• UK: 66% versus 63% last year

• Singapore: 61% versus 62%

• Australia: 59% versus 61%

• U.S.: 53% versus 58%

• China: 51% versus 53%

• Mexico: 44%

• Vietnam: 37% versus 38% I

• ndonesia: 35% versus 34%

Days Taken off by Country per Year (on average) to Catch Up on Sleep

• Vietnam – 10 days

• China – 10 days

• Mexico – 10 days

• Indonesia – 9 days

• Singapore – 8 days

• Australia – 7 days

• U.S. – 7 days

• United Kingdom - 4 days

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 45.74 + 0.42%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 107.76 + 0.43%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.95 - 1.04%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 51.35 + 3.05%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which ocean liner and cruise ship has the distinction of having sailed with one, two and three funnels over her long career?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Between the time she left Cunard's service in 1968 and her arrival in Hong Kong in 1971, the Queen Elizabeth spent time in what is now one of the most popular ports in North America. Where was she laid up during this time?

Answer - The answer is Fort Lauderdale and I have attach two pictures I took when I visited her there in the summer of 1970 (Editor's Note: Thanks to Peter for sharing his photos of Queen Elizabeth in Florida - photo #1, photo #2.
courtesy of Peter Stafford


Cruise News - August 12, 2019

Celebrity Cruises Brings Celebrity Constellation To Tampa
A revolutionary ship is coming to Port Tampa Bay, as Celebrity Cruises unveils a brand new homeport, expanding the brand's global vacation offerings with the redeployment of Celebrity Constellation. The newly "revolutionized" ship will offer guests more island time than ever before, with three unique alternating 10- and 11-night roundtrip sailings for the winter 2020 season.

"Our guests and travel advisors have been asking us to return to Tampa since our last call there in 2007," said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. "While 'Celebrity Cruises' fleet is undergoing a massive modernization with THE CELEBRITY REVOLUTION, the beautiful City of Tampa is also experiencing quite a renaissance. How fitting for our evolving brand to return to an evolving city with a completely 'revolutionized' ship?'"

Recent construction and development in Tampa Bay aims to create a truly dynamic, urban lifestyle for workers, residents and visitors alike. The city's downtown waterfront is currently being transformed through the $3 billion Water Street project. The 50-acre district will feature retail, offices, homes, hotels, culture and education. Transformation of Tampa's urban core was enhanced by the completion of the Tampa Riverwalk, an area now seeing hundreds of millions of dollars in private investments. In addition, historic Ybor's City's revitalization further adds to Tampa's uniqueness as a robust and desirable world-class destination.

"We are very excited to welcome Celebrity Cruises to the Tampa Bay market. In 2020 Celebrity Cruises will offer a variety of itineraries from Tampa that will include stops at exotic locations in southern and eastern Caribbean. The addition of this premium brand to the explosive growth that Tampa Bay is experiencing will add an extraordinary adventure to the many choices vacationers have in Tampa Bay," said Port Tampa Bay President and CEO Paul Anderson.

Following a leisurely 14-night Transatlantic crossing out of Barcelona, Celebrity Constellation will begin offering guests three unique itineraries, including a 10-night Eastern Caribbean escape, calling San Juan, Puerto Rico; Basseterre, St. Kitts & Nevis; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas; and Samana, Dominican Republic; an 11-night Southern Caribbean trek with visits to Key West, Florida; Kralendijk, Bonaire; Oranjestad, Aruba; Willemstad, Curacao; and George Town, Grand Cayman; as well as a brand new 11-night "Touch Canal" itinerary, sailing to Cozumel, Mexico; Puerto Limon, Costa Rica; the Panama Canal; Colon, Panama; Cartagena, Colombia; and George Town, Grand Cayman.

Celebrity Constellation is currently scheduled to undergo its "revolutionary" modernization in May 2020 as part of THE CELEBRITY REVOLUTION, Celebrity's $500 million investment in ship-wide upgrades and breathtaking reimagined spaces, taking the brand's fleet to the Edge.

Windstar Cruises Presents 'Star Grill by Steven Raichlen'
Windstar Cruises continues to perfect its culinary program with the announcement of a new modern, casual outdoor restaurant in partnership with global grilling authority Steven Raichlen. Star Grill by Steven Raichlen, currently in development, will be a modern, casual, al fresco restaurant that serves up grilled, smoked and rotisserie specialties, including seafood, meats and vegetables cooked with global flavors and techniques, alongside craft side dishes and sauces.

Windstar's alliance with Steven Raichlen was born from a desire to create a modern, yet casual outdoor eatery, bespoke of Windstar's "180 degrees from ordinary" tagline, an inviting escape where guests will enjoy inventive, modern cuisine, while embracing the al fresco ambiance and casually intimate experiences of small ship dining after a busy day discovering distant ports of call.

Windstar's culinary team and Steven Raichlen have been working in collaboration to develop the ideal al fresco dining experience, crafting food and beverage menus that will be one-of-a-kind in the cruise and restaurant industries. In 2020, Windstar cruise guests will have the opportunity to taste firsthand where Raichlen's fascination with global grilling takes him and Windstar guests.

Steven Raichlen explains, "I've spent my life traveling the world's barbecue trail to bring my readers and viewers the ultimate in global grilling. What better way to share my discoveries than on a Windstar cruise ship bound for new adventures."

"We're delighted to be working hand-in-hand with someone of Steven's culinary caliber," comments Windstar President John Delaney. "Our new partnership is a wonderful alliance that will provide our guests with an inviting new place to dine that is entirely suited to Windstar's casually elegant style of cruising. We are on course to make Windstar the undisputed culinary innovator in small ship cruising, and the inventive nature of Steven's cuisine will be a key part of that leadership."

International TV host and author of 31 books, Raichlen is considered the man who reinvented modern barbecue. His most recent television series, Project Fire 2019, debuted this July on PBS, and his latest book, The Brisket Chronicles, was released to critical acclaim in May. Raichlen was inducted into the Barbecue Hall of Fame in 2015, and his books have won multiple James Beard Awards and IACP Julia Child Awards. Raichlen is the founder of Barbecue University and has lectured on the history of barbecue at institutions as diverse as Harvard, the Library of Congress, and the Smithsonian.

Star Grill by Steven Raichlen will first debut on Windstar's award-winning small ship Star Breeze in February 2020 and then on her sister ships Star Legend in July 2020 and Star Pride in November 2020, all part of the line's $250 Million Star Plus Initiative.

At Star Grill by Steven Raichlen, guests will enjoy seafood, lamb, beef and more from the grill, smoker, and slow-roasted on the rotisserie, along with innovative sauces. The top-deck, al fresco restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner service and will feature menu items such as Danish smoked shrimp, lemongrass pork skewers, and Hill Country brisket — or on sea days, enjoy a mid-morning Frühschoppen with artisanal grilled sausage and pretzel rolls.

Located just steps away from Star Bar, the ship's popular open ocean-view top-deck bar, Star Grill by Steven Raichlen will feature deck-side dining with seating for 95, two carving stations, a selection of mouthwatering dishes with a modern twist, and refreshments enjoyed in a relaxed, al fresco bar-restaurant area with dining tables starboard and lounge seating portside; all served with a sea view.

Diners relaxing poolside during the day, or enjoying a casual evening meal after touring ashore, may enjoy select local/regional beers, along with flights to offer guests a selection to taste and compliment the cuisine. In addition to a selection of beer and wine, the restaurant will feature cocktails specially-designed for the venue with a breezy summertime vibe, like a Strawberry Pimm's, Pineapple & Coconut Slushy, Raspberry & Melon Slushy, and Strawberry + Basil Smash; all served from the nearby Star Bar.

In addition to the new restaurant partnership, Raichlen will sail aboard one culinary-themed cruise each year with Windstar Cruises, leading grill demonstrations and lectures, as well as socializing with guests on board the small ships, catering exclusively to fewer than 350 guests.

Windstar's newest restaurant concept and the creation of this dining space is part of Windstar's $250 Million Star Plus Initiative, and will be available in 2020 on the line's three, soon-to-be-reimagined Star Class ships. The extensive revitalization of these small cruise ships also features a new eclectic Spanish restaurant from acclaimed chef Anthony Sasso, an enhanced spa and fitness center, new pool and whirlpool, more deck space for lounging, the addition of 50 new suites, and additional upgrades.

Sun Princess Passenger Goes Overboard
A 41-year old female passenger from Taiwan has reportedly died after she was seen jumping over the railing from Princess Cruises Sun Princess during a 5-day cruise from Keelung to Okinawa. The passenger, identified only by her surname Wang was traveling with her mother and aunt on the cruise.

In a statement released by Princess Cruises, the cruise line said Wang was first discovered missing at 6 a.m. Friday Japanese time. The ship's crew quickly launched a full-scale search, and found camera footage of her going over the guardrail on the 11th deck of the ship and falling overboard.

The ship immediately changed course and sent out a rescue team in an attempt to locate Wang. It found the missing woman at 7:13 a.m., the statement said. Wang showed no signs of life after being recovered from the sea before the medical team on board declared her dead, and her body was then stored in a refrigerated storage area on the ship, according to the statement.

The cruise continued its trip after the incident while Wang's two relatives decided to return to Taiwan from Okinawa by air. In the statement, Princess Cruises expressed regret over the incident and thanked the Japanese Coast Guard for its assistance in the search.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises Unveils 146 New Voyages for its 2021-2022 Season
Where will you go next?

Travelers will find their answer in Regent Seven Seas Cruises' 2021-2022 Voyage Collection Debut. The luxury ocean cruise line unveiled 146 voyages embarking April 2021 through May 2022 featuring 27 new ports of call, first-time sailings for Seven Seas Splendor in Northern Europe and the Baltics and for Seven Seas Explorer in Alaska, immersive new land programs, remarkable new shore excursions and access to newly announced UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Japan, Portugal and Italy. Plus, a greater emphasis on Asia includes 10 voyages sailing the region with multiple in-port overnights. Highlights and firsts include:

• 27 maiden ports for Regent across Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Africa, South America and the Caribbean

• A record 116 overnight stays

• First sailings to the Black Sea since 2014 with calls on Romania, Bulgaria and Ukraine

• A return to Seychelles, Mauritius and Réunion in the Indian Ocean

• A scenic journey to Antarctica sailing near Deception Island, Paradise Bay, and Half Moon Island

• Access to more than 350 UNESCO World Heritage Sites

• A unique Asia-Pacific route for Regent's 2022 World Cruise Elements of the Pacific, and Regent's most-ever Asia ports visited across all itineraries

• Three Grand Voyages, including a unique European Tour that combines the best of Northern Europe and the Mediterranean on Regent's newest ship, Seven Seas Splendor

• A digital brochure and video showcase additional details.

"These voyages represent the most stunning and ambitious collection in our company's history. We are sailing to even more legendary and lesser-known destinations highlighted by included immersive land experiences in every port," said Jason Montague, president and chief executive officer of Regent Seven Seas Cruises. "Whether searching for an exciting adventure, a new way to unwind or for something entirely different, we invite luxury travelers to find it with Regent and discover their next unrivaled experience, with the highest levels of elegance, comfort and hospitality on board."

27 Maiden Ports of Call

1. Fort Dauphin, Madagascar
2. Pergamum, Turkey
3. Paphos, Cyprus
4. Monemvasia, Greece
5. Igoumenitsa, Greece
6. Chios, Greece
7. Liepaja, Latvia
8. Wismar, Germany
9. Eskifjordur, Iceland
10. Klaksvik, Denmark
11. Rønne, Denmark
12. Dunkerque, France
13. Oban, Scotland
14. Turku, Finland
15. Kaliningrad, Russia
16. Nordfjordeid, Norway
17. Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
18. Fortaleza, Brazil
19. Natal, Brazil
20. Nagoya, Japan
21. Naze, Japan
22. Port Arthur, Australia
23. Whangarei, New Zealand
24. Nessebur, Bulgaria
25. Laguna San Rafael, Chile
26. Îles des Saintes, Guadeloupe
27. Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

116 Overnight Stays Include:

St. Petersburg (10 Nights)
Istanbul (8)
Venice (7)
Jerusalem (Haifa) (6)
Bordeaux (6)
Ho Chi Minh City (4)
Osaka (4)
Hong Kong (3)
New York (3)
Buenos Aires (3)
Walvis Bay (3)
Sydney (2)
Bali (Benoa) (2)
Bangkok (Laem habang) (2)
Kyoto (Kobe) (2)
Reykjavik (2)
Dublin (2)
Durban (2)
Richard's Bay (2)
Rio de Janeiro (2)
Constanta (1)
Monte Carlo (1)
Hue/Da Nang (Chan May) (1)
Hanoi (Ha Long Bay) (1)
Port Antonio (1)
Bridgetown (1)
Copenhagen (1)
Abu Dhabi (1)
Mahé, Seychelles (1)
Hobart (Tasmania) (1)
Colombo (1)
Mumbai (1)

27 voyages offer a free Pre- or Post-Cruise Land Program. Program examples include Vibrant Tokyo, Discover Singapore, Sydney Icons, Natural Wonders of New Zealand, Treasures of the U.A.E., Glimpse of Arabia, A Passion for Rio, and Chilean Wonders and Wines.

Highlights by Region of the World

• Africa and Arabia
Explore mighty Africa with roundtrip voyages out of Cape Town, a new port of call in Madagascar and stops along the continent's east coast, from Seychelles to Réunion. Then, witness the marvels of Arabia with new Land Programs like savoring the Culinary Delights of the Ottomans.

• Alaska
Cruise Alaska in the epitome of comfort aboard Seven Seas Explorer, the most luxurious ship sailing the region in 2021. Adventure ashore in Icy Straight Point, exploring the history of the Tlingit culture or capturing moments with the area's abundant wildlife and Discover Denali through one of Regent's immersive Land Programs.

• Asia
Sail into the enchanting cultures of Asia with more voyages to the region than ever before, accompanied by more than 20 overnights and two new ports. Experience new Land Programs like Chengdu & Its Pandas or visit the newly-announced UNESCO World Heritage Site Mounded Tombs of Ancient Japan.

• Australia and New Zealand
Witness the grandeur of Australia and New Zealand through adventurous and insightful new Land Programs revealing Sydney Icons and the Natural Wonders of New Zealand, two new ports of call including a visit to the island of Tasmania and by cruising the majestic fjords of New Zealand's South Island.

• Canada, New England and Bermuda
Step back in time more than 200 years through the historic buildings and epic museums found throughout New England and stroll beautiful parks and shores decorated by fall colors. Make the most of overnights in Quèbec City, exploring the wonderful French influences, from classic architectural designs to savory French-Canadian cuisine.

• Caribbean and Panama Canal
Sail from one tropical paradise to another aboard the luxurious Seven Seas Splendor. Savor authentic Jamaican cuisine during an in-port overnight in charming Port Antonio and feel the electricity in the air that comes with the preparations for Carnival when calling on Trinidad and Tobago.

• Mediterranean
Return with Regent to the Black Sea and visit six new Mediterranean ports, from the Ancient City of Nessebur in Bulgaria to the modern, local charms of Igoumenitsa, Greece. Then, tour the newly announced UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Portugal and Italy for a new experience of history.

• Northern Europe
Tour the glory of the Baltic aboard Seven Seas Splendor, soaking in every moment of your journey. Ten new ports await, inviting guests to savor a glass of Scotch in the town it was made, go off the beaten path to a quaint Icelandic fishing village or visit the historic shores of Dunkerque.

• South America
Adventure deep into the Amazon aboard Seven Seas Navigator, Seven Seas Mariner or Seven Seas Voyager and enjoy a Passion for Rio and Chilean Wonders and Wines, two fascinating new Land Programs. Then, board a voyage that offers a scenic cruise of Antarctica aboard Seven Seas Voyager.

Regent fares always include all-suite accommodations, round-trip business-class air on intercontinental flights from U.S. and Canada, ground transfers, the largest collection of unlimited shore excursions, unlimited internet access, highly personalized service, exquisite cuisine and specialty restaurants, fine wines and spirits, enrichment speakers and entertainment, gratuities, and one-night, pre-cruise hotel packages for guests staying in Concierge-level suites and higher.

Princess Cruises Announces the Addition of MedallionNet to Six More Ships in 2020
Princess Cruises continues its expansion of MedallionNet, the best Wi-Fi at sea, giving more guests the opportunity to enjoy the fast, affordable, reliable and unlimited Internet service.

In 2020 MedallionNet expands to Grand Princess (February 21), Diamond Princess (March 15), Majestic Princess (April 18), Star Princess (June 12), Enchanted Princess (June 15) and Sapphire Princess (July 27). MedallionNet currently is available on Caribbean Princess, Regal Princess, Royal Princess, Ruby Princess, Coral Princess, Island Princess, Crown Princess and Emerald Princess. Sky Princess (October 12) will be MedallionNet-ready for Europe sailings this fall.

"We continue our commitment to offer the best Internet at sea with the expansion of MedallionNet across the fleet," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. "Reliable connectivity allows each guest to choose how they want to use the Internet – that could mean staying connected continuously to message friends and family, share their amazing vacation experience, or jumping on and off for personal or professional needs and then promptly returning to vacation mode."

Princess MedallionClass Vacations Launch Dates

MedallionClass Vacations currently are available on Caribbean Princess, Regal Princess and Royal Princess, with Crown Princess launching today, and Sky Princess beginning October 12, 2019 when the newest ship in the Princess fleet departs the shipyard as the first to be built from the ground up with the Ocean Guest Experience Platform. Princess Cruises previously announced the expansion of MedallionClass Vacations to six additional ships in 2020 – Ruby Princess (January 27), Grand Princess (March 29), Enchanted Princess (June 15), Emerald Princess (August 16), Coral Princess (October 16), and Island Princess (December 20). By the end of 2020, guests sailing in the Caribbean, Alaska, Panama Canal, Europe, Australia/New Zealand, Mexico, California Coast and on the World Cruise will have the elevated guest experience powered by the OceanMedallion.

Considered a breakthrough in the vacation industry and a CES 2019 Innovation Award Honoree, the OceanMedallion wearable device is complimentary for all guests and features leading-edge technology that delivers personalized service through enhanced guest-crew interactions, eliminates friction points and enables interactive entertainment.

Carnival Corporation Names Peter C. Anderson as Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer
Carnival Corporation today announced the appointment of Peter C. Anderson to the newly created position of chief ethics and compliance officer. Based at the company's headquarters in Miami, Anderson will be a member of the executive leadership team and report directly to Carnival Corporation President and CEO Arnold Donald.

Anderson is a former federal prosecutor with over 20 years of experience in corporate compliance. He had previously been the head of the White Collar and Compliance Group at the law firm of Beveridge & Diamond, PC, and was initially engaged by Carnival Corporation to conduct a compliance program assessment. Anderson also led the environmental compliance team on the Volkswagen monitorship over the past two years.

In this new role for Carnival Corporation, Anderson will direct strategy for and drive a culture of compliance and integrity that ensures adherence to legal and statutory requirements and the highest ethical principles. He will also lead the effort to develop new compliance training programs for the company's 120,000 employees around the world and be responsible for making significant contributions to the company's compliance risk management program, including identifying potential areas of risk in operations and implementing risk management plans.

Additionally, Anderson will oversee Operation Oceans Alive, Carnival Corporation's environmental commitment and stewardship program, officially launched in 2018. Designed to promote a culture of transparency, learning and commitment within the corporation, Operation Oceans Alive ensures that all employees receive environmental education, training and oversight, while continuing the company's commitment to protecting the oceans, seas and destinations in which it operates.

"I am honored and privileged to serve in this important role, and look forward to continuing to work with our leaders, and most importantly, our team of dedicated employees to help build an ethics and compliance program that is truly world class," said Anderson. "Our strategic plan involves goals and key actions to build a strong and proactive compliance culture that is based on open communications – both listening and responding – as well as adequate resources and improved tools."

Donald added: "Our commitment is to excellence in safety, environmental protection and overall compliance while delivering joyful vacations and great shareholder returns. Pete understands what it takes to help build a corporate compliance effort that is effective, and will help lead us to pursue compliance-related goals through pragmatic solutions that achieve measurable results – another important step in our firm commitment to sustaining long-term environmental compliance, excellence and leadership. Pete's knowledge of global environmental law and corporate compliance makes him a valued addition to our leadership team, and we look forward to him playing a strong role in helping us consistently achieve and exceed our compliance objectives."

After studying law at the University of Virginia, Anderson clerked for a federal district judge in Charlotte, North Carolina before joining the Honors Program at the Environmental Crimes Section at the United States Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. He later became an Assistant United States Attorney in Charlotte, North Carolina. After leaving government service, Pete's law practice involved both reactive defense and proactive compliance counseling services. He was also an adjunct professor at the Charlotte School of Law from 2010-15, teaching classes in fields including environmental law, corporate compliance, federal criminal law and compliance risk assessments.

Anderson received his Bachelor of Science (summa cum laude) in Environmental Science from Rutgers University. He was previously board-certified in corporate compliance through the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics (SCCE) and is a frequent guest lecturer on a variety of corporate compliance issues and best practices.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 45.55 + 0.75%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 107.3 + 0.22%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.96 + 4.35%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 49.83 + 8.21%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Between the time she left Cunard's service in 1968 and her arrival in Hong Kong in 1971, the Queen Elizabeth spent time in what is now one of the most popular ports in North America. Where was she laid up during this time?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which French Line ship struck a reef and caught fire off the coast of Mustique in the Caribbean? As recently as the early 1990's her broken hull was still visible on the reef.

Answer - The French liner Antilles ran aground near Mustique and leaking fuel oil caught fire inside the ship. By the time the QE2 arrived the French ship was an inferno. The passengers had already been taken ashore to Mustique in the lifeboats. The passengers boarded the QE2, and two other French ships that had come to assist, during the night. The Antilles capsized and sank the next day and the passengers were landed in Barbados.
courtesy of Ralph Sackett, Lichfield, England


Cruise News - August 5, 2019

Two Holland America Line Ships Explore Australia, New Zealand During 2019-2020 Season
Cruisers looking to channel their inner explorer and visit the ultimate paradise can chart a course to Australia, New Zealand and the islands of the South Pacific with Holland America Line come this fall. Noordam spends the fall through spring showcasing the lands Down Under, while Maasdam charts a course on longer itineraries starting in August, including a bucket-list Australia circumnavigation.

Offering a premium, mid-sized ship experience, Noordam uncovers the enchanting isles of the South Pacific en route to Australia's southern and eastern regions, and the North and South islands of New Zealand. Maasdam's voyages touch the South Pacific and New Zealand on cruises from 10 to 30 days and also reach the entire coast of Australia.

"Our Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific cruises are crafted to focus on the must-explore ports, must-see sites and incredible scenic cruising — from cosmopolitan cities like Sydney to the natural beauty of Milford Sound," said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line's president. "Having two ships with two distinct paths makes it easier for guests to choose if they want to get a memorable taste of the region or if they want to go all in and join us on a longer adventure. No matter which itinerary they choose, guests won't be disappointed with what awaits."

Noordam Spends the Season Down Under Showcasing Highlights
Noordam offers cruises roundtrip from Sydney, Australia, or between Sydney and Auckland, New Zealand, from October 2019 through April 2020. During the voyages, guests have unforgettable experiences with visits to iconic landmarks, some of the world's most scenic cruising and shore excursions that feature UNESCO World Heritage sites.

The ship kicks off the season Oct. 13, 2019, with a 26-day South Pacific Crossing from Vancouver, British Columbia, to Sydney, with calls along the transpacific journey in Hawaii, American Samoa, Fiji and New Caledonia.

Noordam then begins a series of 12- to 15-day Australia and New Zealand cruises between Auckland and Sydney, including a special holiday cruise departing Dec. 21. These itineraries visit five or six ports in New Zealand as well as Hobart, Tasmania. Melbourne, Australia, is included on some of the 14-day cruises, while Port Arthur, Tasmania, is added to the 15-day itinerary. All include a day of scenic cruising in Fiordland National Park, and several departures also feature scenic cruising in Milford Sound.

Three 14-day New Zealand Discovery voyages departing in January and April sail roundtrip from Sydney and include seven or eight calls throughout the North and South islands of New Zealand, giving a comprehensive exploration of the country. The itinerary includes scenic cruising in Milford Sound and Fiordland National Park, and the April 2 departure also includes a call at Eden, Australia.

April 16, Noordam heads back across the Pacific Ocean on a 25-day journey from Sydney to Vancouver with calls in New Caledonia, Fiji, American Samoa, Hawaii and Canada.

Maasdam's Immersive Voyages Include Unique Port Visits
From August 2019 through March 2020, Maasdam explores Australia, New Zealand, the Coral Sea and Melanesia on longer voyages that deeply immerse guests into the cultures and customs of each location. Calling at lesser-visited ports along with popular favorites, the cruises range from 10 to 30 days, including the full circumnavigation of Australia. The Maasdam's specially curated itineraries set themselves apart with a dedicated onboard team of subject-matter experts and Excursions by Zodiac tours for up-close exploration.

Following a 29-day repositioning cruise from Yokohama (Tokyo), Japan, to Sydney, Maasdam sets its sights on New Zealand and the gorgeous islands of the Coral Sea. For travelers with less time, the 10-day New Zealand and Coral Sea cruise departing Oct. 7, 2019, is the ideal introduction to the region. Maasdam then begins a memorable 30-day Australia Circumnavigation roundtrip from Sydney. The itinerary calls at 13 Australian ports and exotic Komodo Island and includes scenic cruising in the famed Great Barrier Reef, the Torres Strait and Ribbon Reef and a sunrise at Lizard Island.

The ship's immersive voyages continue with a series of itineraries throughout Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania, Melanesia and the Pacific Islands. The unique options include a 17-day cruise with six calls along Australia's eastern coast, including Cairns, gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, and several ports among the southern islands of Papua New Guinea; a 20-day Pacific Islands Adventure with nine island calls and two New Zealand ports; and a 14-day Southern Australia Holiday cruise departing Dec. 23 that spends time exploring Tasmania and six ports along Australia's south coast. The ship also sails 13-, 14- and 15-day itineraries that focus on the islands of the South Pacific, New Zealand and Australia.

At the end of the season, Maasdam cruises back to San Diego, California, on a 19-day crossing from Papeete, visiting Bora Bora, Christmas Island and five ports in Hawaii.

Seabourn Announces 2021 World Cruise
Seabourn announces a remarkable opportunity for guests to experience one of the world's great travel adventures in style. It's the 2021 World Cruise: Extraordinary Oceans, a 140-day round-the-world voyage aboard Seabourn Sojourn, set to visit 60 ports and destinations in 32 countries on six continents with unforgettable experiences to engage and enjoy along the way.

Scheduled to depart Miami on January 3, 2021, the World Cruise will sail east-to-west visiting Central America, the west coast of South America, the islands of the South Pacific, Australia, Indonesia, and Africa, before ending in Barcelona, Spain, on May 24, 2021. The World Cruise is now open for sale, and the entire itinerary is available to peruse on Seabourn's website.

The new World Cruise itinerary is the work of Tim Littley, Seabourn's senior director of itinerary planning, who designed it with "differentiation" in mind. "I wanted this World Cruise to be exploratory in nature, focused thematically on alluring destinations and experiences that are a blend of sought after favorites combined with other smaller, quaint ports that are perhaps a bit unknown to some," Littley said.

Littley meticulously crafted an itinerary that will have guests excited and busy with dynamic experiences followed by opportunities to relax for a couple of days or more at sea in between port visits. "Even though we're headed around the world, we're comfortably wandering as we move from place to place. The cadence of the journey is designed to get guests into the rhythm of exploration with an equal amount of time to relax," he said.

As the name of the World Cruise implies, Seabourn Sojourn will cross two great oceans – Pacific and Indian – as well as traverse the Atlantic Ocean along the coast of Africa. The 140-day voyage will include 10 overnights and linger late into the evening in 16 ports, offering guests ample opportunities to explore these fascinating destinations in depth.

For the first time, Seabourn will offer its popular "Ventures by Seabourn" program on a World Cruise, featuring an expert expedition team leading insightful explorations in the South Pacific. Optional kayaking, Zodiac, snorkeling and trekking tours will be available in French Polynesia, Cook Islands, Tonga, Fiji, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and more.

In addition, there will be exclusive world cruise events planned over the course of the journey for guests on the full 140-day voyage, as well as local entertainment, regional cuisines, and palate-pleasing wines for all guests to savor as they sail around the globe.

Destination highlights on Seabourn's 2021 World Cruise include:

• Central and South America - Seabourn Sojourn's passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific will brim with experiences guests won't want to miss. The ship will skim the coast of Central America before making a full transit of the 51-mile-long Panama Canal, a feat of human ingenuity that continues to impress. Optional overland tours and shore excursions in South America will include the remarkable mountaintop Inca citadel of Machu Picchu in Peru, and the paradise of the Galapagos archipelago some 850 miles off the mainland coast of Ecuador. The World Cruise will also feature Seabourn's first-ever landing at Easter Island – aka Rapa Nui – a bucket list destination if ever there was one, with an overnight stay and two full days to explore the mysterious stone-faced moai and more in depth. "Easter Island is something that will stay with you forever," says Littley.

• South Pacific - Seabourn Sojourn will visit Tahiti, Cook Islands, Tonga, Fiji, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, and Papua New Guinea in the South Pacific. In Fiji, guests will visit Dravuni, a volcanic island less-than-½-mile square, with sparkling white-sand beaches and a population of fewer than 200. "It'll be like Robinson Crusoe on Dravuni, with the beach all to us," says Littley. The ship will also spend a day at Tavanipupu, a private island in the Solomon Islands, with spectacular snorkeling and a traditional welcome by indigenous performers, as well as three days at Papua New Guinea, home of one of the world's oldest civilizations.

• Australia - Following the arrival at Cairns, the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, Seabourn Sojourn will proceed south along the coast of Australia with stops to take in the stunning harbor of Sydney, the indigenous penguin colonies of tiny Phillip Island, and an overnight stay in Melbourne. The ship will spend a long day for guests to savor the renowned culinary offerings of Adelaide; cross the Great Australian Bight; call in Albany, the last stop for Anzac forces bound for Europe during World War II; and take in Bunbury, renowned for wild bottlenose dolphins that swim along the shore of Koombana Bay, before sailing north up the western edge of the continent to Broome.

• Africa - Following seven days in Indonesia including two nights in Bali, the ship will cross the Indian Ocean en route to Africa, with two days in Seychelles leading to three days in Mombasa, Kenya. "Mombasa is our anchor highlight," says Littley, noting onshore opportunities such as optional safari tours to potentially witness the "Big Five" in the Serengeti. The ship's list of destinations in Africa goes on and on, including overnights in Cape Town, South Africa, and Walvis Bay, Namibia, the latter offering desert tours that stay out until late in the evening to gaze at stars in impossibly dark skies.

Finally, Seabourn Sojourn will sail up the west coast of Africa, going in-depth and visiting off-the-beaten-path yet culturally-rich destinations including Benin, Ghana, Togo, Gambia, and the capital of Senegal, Dakar, surrounded by Atlantic beaches on the coast of the Cape Verde Peninsula. The ship will then sail onto the Cape Verde and Canary Islands and spend a long day in Casablanca followed by two days at sea before disembarking in Barcelona, Spain.

Carnival App to Include Youth Activities
Continuing to help families make the most of their vacations, Carnival Cruise Line has updated its popular HUB App to include a comprehensive day-by-day schedule of onboard youth programming and activities with the ability to “like” favorites to receive reminders and updates.

The leader in family cruising carrying more than 900,000 children each year, Carnival has created seemingly endless opportunities for kid-friendly fun from its three age-specific programs to a wide range of onboard activities and attractions. Now, as part of the app’s expanded capabilities and functionality, schedules and details for these options are available in one convenient and centralized area.

Carnival’s age-specific youth programs featured on the app include:

• Camp Ocean (ages 2-11) – ocean-inspired area with 400+ arts & crafts, games and educational activities; three age groups: Penguins (2-5), Sting Rays (6-8) and Sharks (9-11).

• Circle “C” (ages 12-14) – colorful, vibrant teen space featuring active and video games, crafting activities and dance parties.

• Club O2 (ages 15-17) – cool, high-tech hangout with theme nights, dance parties, movies, karaoke, and more.

A variety of family-friendly programming is also highlighted within the app, including:

• Build-A-Bear Workshop At Sea – kids make their own customized furry friend keepsake.

• Hasbro, The Game Show – family-oriented entertainment option including larger-than-life adaptations of the brand’s iconic games and activities.

• Outdoor Attractions – operating hours for WaterWorks aqua parks, SportSquare outdoor recreation area and other open-air spaces.

• Punchliner Comedy Club – early evening hilarious family-friendly comedy performances for guests of all ages.

• Seuss at Sea – fleetwide program featuring Green Eggs and Ham with The Cat in the Hat and Friends, Seuss-a-palooza Parade and Story Time, and other activities.

• Zumbini – high-energy early childhood music and movement class created by Zumba and BabyFirst combining singing, dancing and fun instruments; family classes offered on longer cruises for parent/child bonding.

“Our guests continue to be engaged and excited by our award-winning youth programs, and the HUB App now helps parents keep up with all of the fun in one easy-to-navigate area to plan their perfect vacation. We expect this to be an extremely popular feature for families that want to maximize the fun,” said Melissa Wisecarver, director of youth experience for Carnival Cruise Line.

“We’re always looking for ways to expand the capabilities of the HUB App and we’re delighted to provide parents and families with this comprehensive overview of our offerings right at their fingertips. We have a lot more in store for the HUB App,” said Alfredo Rojas, senior director of digital product and mobile for Carnival Cruise Line.

Also new is a feature that allows parents to view a detailed, time-specific breakdown of activities and locations for Camp Ocean’s daily programming as well as check-in and check-out information and reminders.

Launched in 2015, Carnival’s HUB App has become the leading app in the cruise industry with a 4.6+ rating in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store and more than 6 million total downloads. HUB App is designed to make the Carnival vacation experience seamless and convenient from beginning to end, allowing guests to track daily happenings on board; view food, beverage and entertainment offerings; chat with family and friends; book shore excursions; and access their Sail & Sign account.

The HUB App was recently expanded to allow guests to have pizza and beverages delivered anywhere on board. Further enhancements and innovations will continue to be rolled out in the coming months.

Norwegian Cruise Line Enhances Onboard Entertainment Program with Six: The Musical
Norwegian Cruise Line, the innovator in global cruise travel, today announced that SIX, the critically-acclaimed British pop musical about Henry VIII's six wives will debut on board Norwegian Bliss, Breakaway and Getaway beginning next month.

From Tudor queens to pop princesses, SIX is a historical retelling of Henry VIII's six wives. Each leading lady takes centerstage to share her personal story and reclaim her identity. Remixing 500 years of heartbreak into a celeb'ration of 21st century girl power, the production features lively performances and music by an all-female band.

"Guests will be mesmerized by the comical and powerful leading ladies who will have them laughing, singing and dancing their way out of the theatre," said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. "SIX is an excellent example of the exceptional entertainment we feature across our innovative fleet; we are really proud to add this amazing musical to our lineup."

From the premiere at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2017 to its recently announced debut at the Brooks Atkinson on Broadway in spring 2020, the musical was written by aspiring young playwrights Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss and produced by Andy and Wendy Barnes of the Global Musicals theatre company, award-winning songwriter George Stiles, the acclaimed West End producer Kenny Wax and Broadway impresario Kevin McCollum.

"We're thrilled to be partnering with Norwegian Cruise Line to showcase this award-winning musical for the first time at sea," said Kenny Wax, one of the producers of SIX. "Originating from the minds of two senior Cambridge University students in the U.K., the show has surprised and delighted audiences around the globe."

SIX will appear first on Norwegian Bliss on September 1, 2019, followed by Norwegian Breakaway on November 10, 2019 and Norwegian Getaway on April 23, 2020.

Norwegian Bliss offers seven-day Alaska cruises from Seattle through September 29, 2019, seven-day itineraries to the Mexican Riviera from Los Angeles beginning October 6, 2019, and seven-day Bahamas and Florida voyages from New York starting November 24, 2019. Norwegian Breakaway is currently sailing seven-day cruises to the Eastern and Western Caribbean from Miami through November 22, 2019 before heading to Port Canaveral, Fla. to sail seven-day Caribbean cruises. In April 2020, Norwegian Getaway will offer seven-day voyages to the Western Caribbean from New Orleans before returning to Europe to sail a mix of 10-to-11-day Greek Isles and Italy cruises from Rome.

Princess Cruises Seeks Couples for Largest Vow Renewal at Sea Record Attempt
Cue "The Love Boat" theme song! Princess Cruises - the international premium cruise line known for its legacy of romance and adventure declared today it will attempt to host the largest renewal of vows ceremony at sea in hopes to set a world record onboard a Valentine's Day cruise. Gavin MacLeod, who portrayed the endearing Captain Stubing, will officiate and Jill Whelan, his television daughter Vicki, will serve as matron of honor hosting the ceremony onboard Regal Princess, setting sail February 9-16, 2020. Sailing roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale, guest will visit Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman, Cozumel and the cruise line's private, romantic beach Princess Cays.

"I'm honored to be officiating this ceremony and can't think of a better way to celebrate and commemorate a couple's love, than by reaffirming their commitment to one another onboard the 'Love Boat' over Valentine's Day," said Gavin MacLeod, Princess Cruises ambassador.

Princess Cruises Celebrations Ambassador Jill Whelan added, "It wouldn't be a Princess cruise unless there's romance. We invite couples of all ages to join us for this celebration of love on the high seas."

"The Love Boat" aired for 10 seasons from 1977 to 1986, and the show sparked the growth of the cruise industry making cruise vacations attainable for the masses. Since then, Princess has been helping guests find and celebrate love each year.

Additional romantic touches will be offered on the cruise, and more details about this special voyage will be announced soon.

Interested couples are encouraged to book now by contacting their travel advisor, calling 1-800-PRINCESS (1-800-774-6237), or by visiting the company's website at www.princess.com.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 45.21 - 4.52%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 107.06 - 7.38%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.92 - 6.12%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 46.05 - 6.21%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which French Line ship struck a reef and caught fire off the coast of Mustique in the Caribbean? As recently as the early 1990's her broken hull was still visible on the reef.

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which liner caught fire in September 1934 and eventually washed ashore on the beaches of Asbury Park, New Jersey?

Answer - Morro Castle caught fire in the Atlantic on a Booze Cruise to Havana. 134 Died and the hulk grounded on the Jersey shore.
courtesy of dip156 at yahoo.com


Cruise News - July 29, 2019

Costa Cruises Holds Steel-Cutting Ceremony for Costa Toscana
Costa Cruises today celebrated the first steel-cutting for Costa Toscana, the brand's second ship that can be powered in port and at sea by liquefied natural gas (LNG), at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland.

Carnival Panorama Successfully Completes Sea Trials" BORDER="0" ALIGN="left">Costa Toscana is the second of two new sister ships ordered by Costa Cruises that can be powered in port and at sea by LNG, the world's cleanest burning fossil fuel. The first of these, Costa Smeralda, is nearing completion at the Meyer Turku shipyard and will enter service in October of this year, followed by Costa Toscana, which is expected to be delivered in 2021.

In total, following AIDAnova's launch at the end of 2018 as the world's first cruise vessel to be powered at sea and in port by LNG, Carnival Corporation has an additional 10 next-generation "green" cruise ships on order, with expected delivery dates between 2019 and 2025 for AIDA Cruises, P&O Cruises (UK), Carnival Cruise Line and Princess Cruises, in addition to Costa Cruises.

The introduction of LNG to power cruise ships is a ground-breaking innovation that supports the company's environmental goals with the virtual total elimination of sulfur dioxide emissions (zero emissions) and particulate matter (95 to 100% reduction). The use of LNG will also substantially reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides and carbon dioxide. The gas will be stored in special tanks on board and will be used to generate the energy required for navigation and onboard services, thanks to dual-fuel hybrid engines. Costa Smeralda and Costa Toscana are an integral part of the strategic plan for carbon footprint reduction, defined by Carnival Corporation's 2020 sustainability goals and fully implemented by Costa Cruises and the company's eight additional brands. Carnival Corporation achieved its 25% carbon reduction goal three years ahead of schedule in 2017 and made additional progress on that goal with a 27.6% reduction in emissions from operations in 2018.

With gross tonnage of over 180,000 and more than 2,600 staterooms on each ship, Costa Smeralda and Costa Toscana are part of the Costa Group's fleet expansion plan that includes a total of seven new ships scheduled to enter service by 2023. Carnival Corporation's Costa Group includes the company's Costa Cruises, Costa Asia and AIDA Cruises brands. AIDAnova, the first of these new ships, was launched at the end of 2018, followed by Costa Venezia, the brand's first ship designed for the Chinese market, at the end of February 2019.

"The steel-cutting ceremony for Costa Toscana is another step forward in our sustainable development plan," said Neil Palomba, president of Costa Cruises. "LNG propulsion for cruise ships is a major innovation, pioneering a new era in the use of low-carbon fuels that will significantly reduce exhaust emissions to help protect the environment without compromising on safety, in line with our top priorities."

Palomba continued: "Once again, Costa Cruises is paving the way for the industry as a whole: in accordance with our global vision aimed at sustainable development, we were the first to invest in this technology, which is now really starting to take hold. However, a lot remains to be done in terms of the ready availability of gas bunkering infrastructure to ensure the seamless transition to LNG. Costa Toscana and her sister ship Costa Smeralda may be highly innovative products, but they will retain that inimitable Italian hospitality that has been Costa Cruises' hallmark since the brand's inception, conveying the exhilaration of ocean travel and providing enhanced guest experiences for repeat and first-time cruisers alike."

"Modern shipyard for modern ships," said Jan Meyer, CEO of Meyer Turku. "With the first Costa Cruises' ship, Costa Smeralda, being delivered in October, both of these ships will have lots of beautiful design and interesting features – and, of course, very high-quality work and best-in-industry engineering. We are very proud to build these ships for Costa."

The Italian cruise line's two new flagships, Costa Toscana and Costa Smeralda, will be tributes to the very best of Italy and, accordingly, each is named after one of the country's loveliest and most popular areas, Tuscany and Costa Smeralda ("costa" is Italian for "coast"). On Costa Smeralda, all decks and public areas are named after – and designed based on – iconic Italian places. The food and wine offerings on board will feature the finest Italian culinary traditions, with the collaboration of prestigious partner suppliers. The ship will have 11 different restaurants, including one specifically conceived for casual family dining, 19 bars, a splendid spa area with 16 treatment rooms, an onboard waterpark with waterslides, four pools and a dedicated facility where kids can hang out and make new friends their age. Costa Smeralda will also have her very own museum: the CoDe – Costa Design Museum – showcasing the excellence of Italian design.

Take 5 to Debut as the Only Jazz Theater at Sea Onboard Sky Princess & Enchanted Princess
Signature jazz evenings will regale guests onboard the new Sky Princess and Enchanted Princess at Take 5, the only jazz theater at sea. Celebrating the iconic sounds, culture and history of jazz, the new lounge will also feature hand-crafted cocktails by Princess partner and Master Mixologist Rob Floyd in a chic bar setting.

Debuting onboard the cruise line's newest ships Sky Princess (October 2019) and Enchanted Princess (June 2020), Take 5 will offer curated experiences honoring the roots of jazz, the birth of BeBop, contemporary jazz and iconic female artists, while highlighting how destinations helped shaped this musical genre.

"Our new signature lounge, Take 5, introduces jazz theater: a harmonious collection of live performances and interactive experiences that bring to life the stories behind this music genre," said Denise Saviss, Princess Cruises vice president of entertainment experience. "Take 5 sets the stage for our guests to enjoy the music and dance in a space that recalls noteworthy jazz clubs in their heyday."

Take 5 celebrates this important American art-form, with live performances by dedicated jazz musicians, dance lessons, engaging speakers and workshops, guest performers and after-hours parties. It will also feature surprise, pop-up performances so no two nights are the same. Carefully curated, custom media content will play on screens including archival footage and iconic imagery.

A selection of the Take 5 afternoon enrichment and themed nights, will include:

A Night in Harlem – sounds of the roaring 1920s will transport guests to the underground world of the speakeasy in the heart of New York City with iconic sounds of the prohibition era. Guests can expect tunes from artists like King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band, New Orleans Rhythm Kings, Original Dixieland Jazz Band and Charles "Buddy" Bolden.

The Birth of Big Band and BeBop – heading into the late 1940s, post-war jazz and the birth of BeBop showcases the amazing speed and technical ability of these incredible musicians. Music from artists like Charlie Parker, Coleman Hawkins and Dexter Gordon will fill the air while costumed bow-tied-wearing staff deliver classic cocktails.

The Way You Look Tonight – celebrates the incredible women of jazz throughout history, and how these legendary vocalists and instrumentalists changed musical history. Guest can expect songs from artists like Ella Fitzgerald to Billie Holiday to Norah Jones.

Toda La Noche – Fiery Afro-Cuban Jazz – an unforgettable journey through the Caribbean celebrates the spicy rhythms of Afro-Cuban jazz with classic beats spanning Latin, European and African American influences. Before the show, guests can take salsa lessons to popular Buena Vista Social Club covers. Featured music includes songs from artists like Tito Puente, Irakere and Dizzy Gillespie. This night ends with an invitation back for a 'descarga' jam session.

A Sophisticated Evening of Cool – the cool jazz sounds of the 1950s will fill the space as guests journey on the ultimate American jazz road trip, taking in sounds all the way from New York to California. Guests can expect songs from musical legends like Miles Davis, Chet Baker and John Lewis.

Contemporary Directions – A Festival of Jazz – honors recent decades of jazz music, featuring local artists from the various destinations the ships sail.

Take 5 patrons will never miss a beat as they sit back, relax and order a drink directly to their seat with on-demand service, just one of the features available as part of the Princess MedallionClass experience on Sky Princess and Enchanted Princess.

Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth Meet in Halifax for the First Time
Cunard's flagship liner Queen Mary 2 had a rare meeting with sister ship Queen Elizabeth and offered spectacular sailaway on July 26, 2019 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, birthplace of the company's founder Sir Samuel Cunard. The meeting was arranged in celebration of Zita Cobb and Sandra Greer, this year's recipients of the Samuel Cunard Prize for Vision, Courage and Creativity and The Innovative Spirit Award, respectively.

The Samuel Cunard Award for Vision, Courage and Creativity was inaugurated in 2015 to celebrate the company's 175th Anniversary in the ancestral home of its founder Sir Samuel Cunard. Created in partnership with the Canadian Maritime Heritage Foundation, the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic and Cunard, the award acknowledges an extraordinary individual who demonstrates the qualities exemplified by Samuel Cunard throughout his life. The Innovative Spirit Award was created to honor an individual who stands out as having a pioneering spirit similar to Sir Samuel Cunard.

From Halifax, Queen Mary 2 sails to New York, and then on to England with Cunard historian John G. Langley, Q.C., Director and Chairman of the Cunard Steamship Society aboard. Langley will be donating a significant portion of his Cunard collection to the Cunard Archives at the University of Liverpool after his voyage. Guests onboard Queen Mary 2's Transatlantic Crossing will have the opportunity to see select pieces from the collection and attend talks given by Langley.

Royal Caribbean Reports Record Second Quarter Earnings
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. today reported record second quarter results and updated its full year Adjusted EPS guidance to a range of $9.55 to $9.65 per share versus the company's latest midpoint guidance of $9.45 per share (including the impact of the Cuban travel restrictions). This is an improvement of approximately $0.15 per share due to better second quarter results and an improved revenue outlook for the second half of the year.

"We are elated to see our brands executing so effectively, keeping our business in an exceptionally strong position," said Richard D. Fain, chairman and CEO. "Our strategic focus on destinations, technology and people is clearly paying off. And, our core products are doing exceptionally well, driven by a gratifyingly robust demand for the Caribbean."

SECOND QUARTER 2019

US GAAP Net Income for the second quarter of 2019 was $472.8 million or $2.25 per share and Adjusted Net Income was $532.7 million or $2.54 per share. Last year, US GAAP Net Income was $466.3 million or $2.19 per share and Adjusted Net Income was $482.2 million or $2.27 per share. The improvement over last year was mainly driven by increased revenue from our global brands.

Gross Yields were up 9.4% and Net Yields were up 9.5% in Constant-Currency, within guidance. Better demand for onboard experiences as well as strong close-in demand for our core products fully offset the impact from the travel restrictions to Cuba which equated to 30 basis points for the quarter.

Gross Cruise Costs per APCD increased 8.2% in Constant-Currency. NCC excluding Fuel per APCD were up 8.9% in Constant-Currency, better than guidance, driven by timing. The travel restrictions to Cuba were neutral to NCC excluding Fuel in the second quarter.

Additionally, lower interest expense contributed to the second quarter's positive performance.

Bunker pricing net of hedging for the second quarter was $483.8 per metric ton and consumption was 374,600 metric tons.

FULL YEAR 2019 OUTLOOK

Royal Caribbean said that it expects its full year Adjusted EPS to be in the range of $9.55 to $9.65 per share. The midpoint of the company's latest Adjusted EPS guidance was $9.45 (including the impact of the Cuban travel restriction). Thus, the midpoint of the company's guidance has improved by approximately $0.15 per share due to better second quarter results and an improved revenue outlook for the second half of the year.

Net Yields for the year are expected to increase 7.75% to 8.25% in Constant-Currency. This guidance includes the impact of approximately 70 basis points related to the discontinuation of the high yielding Cuba sailings. Excluding this impact, the midpoint of the company's Net Yield guidance has improved by approximately 40 basis points versus our previous guidance driven by better demand for our core products in the second half of the year.

NCC excluding Fuel for the year are expected to be up 10.0% to 10.5% in Constant-Currency. This guidance reflects an increase in our costs related to the travel restrictions to Cuba.

Taking into account current fuel pricing, interest and currency exchange rates, and the factors detailed above, Royal Caribbean said that it estimates 2019 Adjusted EPS will be in the range of $9.55 to $9.65 per share.

"Royal Caribbean said that it's booked position for the remainder of 2019 continues to set new records with all core products in line or ahead of the company's previous expectations," said Jason T. Liberty, executive vice president and CFO. "While it is too early to provide detailed color on 2020, we are delighted that bookings are already off to a very strong start."

THIRD QUARTER 2019

Net Yields are expected to increase approximately 6.5% in Constant-Currency and 5.5% to 6.0% As-Reported. These metrics include approximately 340 basis points from the operation of Silversea, the new cruise terminal and the Perfect Day development. These Net Yields were negatively impacted by approximately 110 basis points related to the discontinuation of the Cuba sailings.

NCC excluding Fuel per APCD for the quarter are expected to increase approximately 11.0% in Constant-Currency and approximately 10.5% As-Reported. These metrics include approximately 850 basis points from the operation of Silversea, the new cruise terminal and the Perfect Day development.

Based on current fuel pricing, interest and currency exchange rates, and the factors detailed above, Royal Caribbean said that it expects third quarter Adjusted EPS to be approximately $4.35 per share.

Norwegian Cruise Line Launches 'Free the Beat' Program
Norwegian Cruise Line, the innovator in global cruise travel, today announced the ‘Free the Beat’ program, a platform where the music industry's best songwriters, artists, talent and creators have the freedom to develop curated content for the brand’s first global music library inspired by the world's most beautiful destinations.

As part of the new initiative, the company will team up with leaders in the music industry to curate a portfolio of exclusive content that will be leveraged through multiple guest-facing channels, including on board the 16-ship fleet. From hosting exclusive songwriter cruises to releasing never-before-heard uncut tracks from world-renowned music powerhouses, such as Family Affair Productions and Warner Chappell Music, this program will deliver the brand’s first global music library. The music created will also enhance the guest experience by bringing the cruising experience to life with destination-inspired onboard playlists.

Multi-platinum recording artist and songwriter Andy Grammer, whose song ‘Good to be Alive (Hallelujah)’ can be heard in one of Norwegian Cruise Line’s latest advertisements, will host the brand’s first songwriters cruise. Select songwriters will be invited to sail on board the recently revitalized Norwegian Joy on a seven-day voyage to Alaska from Seattle. The goal is to inspire content creation through the world-class experiences available on board and ashore within the destinations they will visit.

“The place that you’re in affects the art that comes out of you,” said Andy Grammer, multi-platinum recording artist and songwriter. “In my career, I’ve been lucky enough to participate in writing trips around the world and can’t think of a cooler place than Alaska to feel inspired to create. I am thrilled to be a part of this amazing program with Norwegian Cruise Line and can’t wait to experience their first songwriters cruise to kickoff of their first-ever global music library.”

During the cruise, the songwriters will have the opportunity to enjoy the freedom and flexibility that sailing with Norwegian Cruise Line provides through its breadth of innovative experiences. Onboard offerings include the world’s only racetrack and open-air laser tag arenas at sea; over 30 restaurant and lounge options; Broadway-caliber entertainment; and design elements that bring guests closer to the beauty of the ocean, such as The Waterfront, a quarter-mile promenade complete with outdoor dining and lounging, as well as the Observation Lounge, offering unobstructed 180-degree views.

“We are dedicated to providing meaningful experiences to our guests and leveraging new and innovative ways to connect with them,” said Meg Lee, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Norwegian Cruise Line. “Music is a universal way to engage with people, and the ‘Free the Beat’ program will allow us to enhance our storytelling with exclusive content created for us and inspired by the places we take our guests. We look forward to partnering with the best in the industry to grow our global library with music that aligns with our brand, connects guests to the nearly 300 destinations we visit and showcasing it around the globe.”

The first songwriters cruise will take place in August aboard Norwegian Joy with Andy Grammer and Family Affair Productions. The seven-day voyage to Alaska will begin in Seattle with calls to Ketchikan, Juneau and Icy Strait Point, Alaska; as well as Victoria, British Columbia. The second cruise will be announced later this year and will be in collaboration with Warner Chappell Music.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 47.35 + 4.99%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 115.59 + 3.55%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.98 - 1.01%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 49.10 + 2.46%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which liner caught fire in September 1934 and eventually washed ashore on the beaches of Asbury Park, New Jersey?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which liner caught fire in September 1934 and eventually washed ashore on the beaches of Asbury Park, New Jersey?

Answer - Morro Castle caught fire in the Atlantic on a Booze Cruise to Havana. 134 Died and the hulk grounded on the Jersey shore.
courtesy of dip156 at yahoo.com


Cruise News - July 22, 2019

Carnival Panorama Successfully Completes Sea Trials
Carnival Cruise Line’s newest ship, Carnival Panorama, successfully completed its sea trials in the Adriatic Sea earlier this week in anticipation of its inaugural cruise from Long Beach, Calif., Dec. 11, 2019, becoming the line’s first new ship on the West Coast in 20 years.

Carnival Panorama Successfully Completes Sea Trials" BORDER="0" ALIGN="left">Currently in the final stages of construction at the Fincantieri shipyard in Marghera, Italy, Carnival Panorama had a full contingent of officers, technicians and engineers on board who thoroughly tested the ship’s sophisticated technical, mechanical and navigation systems.

“Carnival Panorama is a wonderful addition to the fleet and she passed all of her maneuvers and tests with flying colors. We can’t wait to welcome guests aboard this beautiful ship,” said Carnival Panorama Captain Carlo Queirolo.

As the newest ship in the fleet, Carnival Panorama will offer innovations such as the first Sky Zone trampoline park at sea and a new ChooseFun WaterWorks aqua park inspired by the line’s Chief Fun Officer, NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal, as well as popular onboard venues like Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse Brewhouse, featuring BBQ favorites created by Food Network star and longtime partner Guy Fieri and craft beers brewed on board.

Carnival Panorama will also offer a variety of accommodation choices, including the tropics-inspired Havana area with colorful staterooms and its own Cuban-themed bar and pool; Family Harbor with extra-roomy staterooms and the Family Harbor Lounge; and luxurious Cloud 9 Spa staterooms with special amenities and privileges.

Following an inaugural three-day voyage to Ensenada, Carnival Panorama will launch year-round seven-day Mexican Riviera cruises from Long Beach Dec. 14. The week-long adventures will visit spectacular seaside resort towns including Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas and Mazatlan.

Seabourn Unveils Dining Experiences On New Ultra-Luxury Purpose-Built Expedition Ships
Seabourn has given travelers a glimpse of the eight dining experiences, as well as a first-ever look at The Restaurant, on its two new ultra-luxury purpose-built expedition ships set to launch in June 2021 and May 2022.

Diners are sure to be delighted for breakfast, lunch and dinner throughout their adventures with Seabourn. Each dining experience showcases the high quality and breadth of cuisine crafted by Seabourn's skilled chefs from top-quality ingredients with an eye toward the latest culinary innovations and trends, and service by talented staff who are always at the top of their game.

>"We're proud of our legacy in the culinary arena, cultivated over more than 30 years by a team intent on producing fresh, delicious and memorable cuisine equal to the finest restaurants anywhere," said Gerald Mosslinger, vice president of Hotel Operations for Seabourn. "These eight dining experiences – and the venues themselves – have been designed with expeditions in mind, with inspired details that keep bringing the luxury expedition experience to life, and where guests can unwind to share memories of the day over a wonderfully prepared meal, glass of wine or perfectly crafted cocktail."

As with any Seabourn ship, all dining experiences are complimentary, and guests can dine when, where and with whom they choose. Premium spirits, fine wines and other beverages are complimentary everywhere on board, with a number of special selections also available for an additional charge. Starting with the first voyages in 2021, expedition travelers will find an appealing array of tempting dining experiences including:

• The Restaurant: Fine dining in an elegant, open-seating dining room for breakfast, lunch and dinner

• The Colonnade: A more casual alternative for buffet or table service breakfast and lunch, and themed dinner served tableside, including family-style menus by Michelin-starred Chef Thomas Keller.

• Sushi in The Club: A variety of sushi bites are freshly made to order here every evening.

• Seabourn Square: A sociable oasis serving delectable specialty coffees, pastries, sandwiches and homemade gelati throughout the day and into the evening

• Pantry in the Bow Lounge: Help yourself to freshly prepared light fare and refreshments as you scan the horizon

• Constellation Lounge: A nod to the heritage of Seabourn, the Constellation Lounge is the spot for early-risers' pastries and beverages, elegant afternoon Tea Time and cocktail-time tapas

• 24-Hour In-Suite Dining: Choose from a varied menu anytime, or have dinner from The Restaurant menu served course-by-course in your suite or on your veranda.

A fixture across the entire Seabourn fleet, The Restaurant offers a stunning, elegant setting to enjoy an impeccably prepared meal for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The work of design icon Adam D. Tihany, The Restaurant is a masterfully curated space anchoring food and beverage service on Seabourn Venture and her soon-to-be-named sister ship.

Located on Deck 4, The Restaurant is a stunning setting serving perfectly plated dishes that rival the finest restaurants in any city or hotel, to be enjoyed in classic open seating, where guests dine when, where and with whom they wish. The venue also offers an expansive wine selection, with Old World and New World labels that includes a number of fine complimentary choices. Guests can also browse the extensive list of premium wines available for an additional charge to please the most sophisticated palates.

Tihany has kept natural elements at the forefront of his work for the expedition ships, and The Restaurant features design inspired by the abstract, geometric nature of snowflakes, merging bold lines and shapes with a softness reminiscent of falling snow. Leather wall paneling with visible stitching brings a unique three-dimensional diamond arrangement to the space, while blue and green carpeting with geometric patterns surrounds a central porcelain floor that recalls the natural sediment of a geode. Overhead abstract diamond lighting fixtures of ribbed glass and metal details are inspired by the symmetry and complexity of snowflakes, and bronze mirror details add a touch of sparkle throughout the space.

Seating in The Restaurant is similarly noteworthy, with dining chairs fashioned by the product arm of Tihany Design. Designed for comfort, the chairs beckon with rich burgundy leather against a textured fabric seat back, with exposed rivet details and wood frame echoing the tactile craftsmanship found elsewhere throughout each expedition ship. As a crowning touch, the dining space is elevated by a sophisticated wine display encased in bronze framed glass.

Each new ultra-luxury expedition ship will feature 132 luxurious oceanfront veranda suites.

Carnival Vista Arrives at Grand Bahama Shipyard to Begin Repair
Following a first-of-its-kind procedure in which Carnival Vista was loaded onto the Boka Vanguard, a semi-submersible heavy transport vessel operated by Netherlands-based Boskalis, the cruise ship arrived at the Grand Bahama Shipyard in Freeport this evening to begin repairs of its azipod propulsion system.

The process began last night with Carnival Vista and Boka Vanguard rendezvousing off the coast of Freeport and took approximately 24 hours to complete.

Carnival Vista will stay positioned within the “floating dry dock” at the Grand Bahama Shipyard while repairs are being made.

After being offloaded from the Boka Vanguard, Carnival Vista will depart Freeport later this month and resume its year-round Caribbean schedule from Galveston on July 27.

World's Leading Adventurers to Inspire Cunard Guests in Alaska
Cunard announced this week that it is bringing together two of the biggest names in exploration and mountaineering as Queen Elizabeth returns for a full season in Alaska in 2020.

Sir Ranulph Fiennes – acknowledged as the 'World's Greatest Living Explorer' by the Guinness Book of Records – will headline an engaging series of lectures; he will be sharing personal insights of his adventures as Queen Elizabeth sails through the pristine beauty of the Alaskan wilderness.

Guests will experience a first-hand account of Sir Ranulph's notable expeditions. These include the 1972-82 Transglobe, the first surface journey around the polar axis, as well as the Pentland South Pole Expedition, which was led by Sir Ranulph and achieved the first unsupported crossing of the Antarctic Continent. Sir Ranulph has since climbed Mount Everest as well as the North Face of the Eiger in the Bernese Alps, guided by Kenton Cool, and has raised $22.8 million for charity throughout his career.

Mountaineer Kenton Cool, one of the finest alpine climbers of his generation, will also join Cunard onboard Queen Elizabeth in Alaska. Cool has summited Mount Everest fourteen times, including his 2009 climb when he guided Sir Ranulph's Everest expedition. Cool holds the unique title of being the first person in history to climb the three Everest peaks -- dubbed the "Triple Crown" -- in one climb, an achievement thought to be impossible. He will share this and other remarkable life experiences with guests.

"Cunard is famous for our renowned onboard enrichment program, offering guests exclusive access to some of the most revered and inspirational speakers," said Josh Leibowitz, SVP Cunard North America. "Sir Ranulph Fiennes and Kenton Cool are two of the greatest outdoor record achievers living today and our passengers will be thrilled to hear first-hand accounts of their explorations while sailing though the awe-inspiring nature of Alaska onboard Cunard's majestic Queen Elizabeth."

Sir Ranulph will be the first featured guest speaker in Alaska, on Queen Elizabeth's sailing between Vancouver and Juneau (June 2-4, 2020). Kenton Cool will board the ship on June 12 and sail on voyages through July 2, 2020.

Earlier this year it was announced that Cunard will visit Glacier Bay during its 2020 Alaska voyages. Cunard will be the only cruise line offering 10, 11 and 12 day roundtrip voyages from Vancouver in 2020 that soak up the majestic and pristine drama of both Glacier Bay and Hubbard Glacier. In other experiences only to be found on Cunard, guests will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the culture of Alaska with a Cultured Heritage Guide on every sailing. For relaxation, guests can indulge in Mareel Wellness & beauty (Cunard's new holistic spa concept) on every voyage, offering oceanic treatments and meditation rituals inspired by wilderness. As night falls, with the backdrop of Alaska, guests will enjoy a unique sense of occasion with an Ice White Ball in the spectacular Queens Room on every voyage.

Cunard has doubled its Alaska program in 2020, offering a full season from June through September. All voyages are roundtrip out of Vancouver ranging from nine to 12 nights and one getaway voyage to San Francisco for an overnight stay on the 4th of July, 2020. The Alaska voyages will feature full days in ports such as Ketchikan, Victoria, Juneau, Skagway and others.

Carnival Corporation Launches Website Featuring Advanced Air Quality Systems
- Carnival Corporation & plc today announced the launch of a new dedicated Advanced Air Quality Systems website that features relevant background information, videos, animations, photos and graphics to highlight the environmental benefits of using the innovative technology commonly referred to as exhaust gas cleaning systems or "scrubbers."

As a key element of Carnival Corporation's commitment to sustainable operations, Advanced Air Quality Systems enable overall cleaner air emissions from ships both at port and at sea. These systems are proven to be a safe and effective solution for compliance with International Maritime Organization (IMO) 2020 regulations for sulfur, while also meeting international air and water quality standards.

The new website features key facts, figures and performance results that detail how Advanced Air Quality Systems work in the small confines of a cruise ship, using sea water to remove virtually all the sulfur from engine exhaust, preventing it from entering the atmosphere, improving air emissions and supporting sustainable operations in the global shipping industry.

Advanced Air Quality Systems have been used for decades on land as a proven and effective way to significantly reduce sulfur oxide (SOx) and particulate matter produced by an engine's operation. As part of its commitment to developing innovative solutions that support sustainable operations, Carnival Corporation began pioneering this technology breakthrough in 2006, enabling Advanced Air Quality Systems to operate efficiently and effectively in the small confines of a cruise ship.

"Our Advanced Air Quality Systems are an important part of our strategy to improve air quality in port and at sea, a strategy that also includes the use of liquefied natural gas (LNG), shore power and marine gasoil (MGO)," said Mike Kaczmarek, senior vice president for marine technology for Carnival Corporation. "Due to the success we have had improving air quality with these systems, we decided to launch a dedicated website to help educate the public on the environmental benefits of Advanced Air Quality Systems and their effectiveness as a solution for meeting and exceeding the upcoming IMO regulations, while we continue to expand the technology throughout our fleet."

As of July 2019, the company has installed over 220 Advanced Air Quality Systems on 77 of the more than 100 ships in its fleet, with a goal of installing nearly 400 scrubber systems over time in its multi-engine ships. By 2020, the company expects 85 percent of its global fleet to be fitted with Advanced Air Quality Systems at an investment of over $500 million.

The website features a number of third-party scientific studies that further validate that Advanced Air Quality Systems improve air quality and exceed major air and water quality standards with no adverse impact on the environment. A new study that includes third-party analysis by DNV GL, a leading classification society and recognized advisor for the maritime industry, shows that Advanced Air Quality Systems are a safe and effective means for compliance with the IMO's 2020 requirements on the global shipping fleet, which include regulations for cleaner air emissions and strict wash-water quality standards.

The study concluded that the wash-water samples from the Advanced Air Quality Systems were below the limits set by several major national and international water quality and land-based water discharge standards, which provides further proof of the quality and safety of the wash water, even when compared to criteria like the World Health Organization's (WHO) drinking water guidelines. In fact, when measured against IMO standards, the average wash-water test results in this study were over 90% lower than IMO limits. In the majority of samples, the materials were completely undetectable in the laboratory testing process.

Other benefits of the technology are highlighted on the new site, including that extensive testing has confirmed that Advanced Air Quality Systems in many ways outperform low-sulfur MGO in providing cleaner overall air emissions from ships. The systems remove almost all of the sulfur from engine exhaust and about 75% of all particulate matter (PM), and they are especially effective in removing small particulates. Additionally, studies show that exhaust from these systems has proportionally less PAH (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) and lower nitrous oxide (NOx) when compared to MGO emissions.

Coupled with other complementary technologies that also have ecological advantages, including launching the world's first-ever cruise ships powered in port or at sea by LNG, and promoting the use of shore power, Advanced Air Quality Systems will help Carnival Corporation meet its own aggressive 2020 sustainability goals and international, national and local regulations for the over 700 ports the corporation's ships visit each year.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 45.10 - 3.94%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 111.63 - 1.08%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 0.99 - 2.94%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 47.92 - 4.85%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which liner caught fire in September 1934 and eventually washed ashore on the beaches of Asbury Park, New Jersey?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Only two four-stack ships were built for service on a route other than the North Atlantic. Name either of these ships and the route they were built for?

Answer - The two 4-stackers built for a route other than the North Atlantic were Arundel Castle and Windsor Castle. They were built for the Union Castle Line's UK to South Africa mail service. They entered service shortly after the end of World War I. Both were lengthened to increase their speed in the late 1930's and became 2-stackers. Windsor Castle was a casualty in World War II but Arundel Castle continued in the mail service until late 1958. I was given a tour of Arundel Castle in Port Elizabeth in September 1955.
courtesy of Brian O'Leary, Montreal, Canada


Cruise News - July 15, 2019

Carnival Cruise Line To Operate Largest Bermuda Season Ever
Carnival Cruise Line will operate its largest Bermuda season ever in 2019-2020, with more than 40 voyages visiting the nation, including eight week-long cruises departing from Baltimore and Charleston next year.

In total, six different Carnival ships – Carnival Breeze, Magic, Pride, Radiance, Sunshine and Sunrise – will offer four- to nine-day Bermuda cruises from five homeports along the eastern seaboard between now and next year.

Carnival is the only cruise operator to offer round-trip Bermuda cruises from Charleston, Port Canaveral and Fort Lauderdale. Nine-day Bermuda departures have also been added to the New York-based schedules of the totally transformed Carnival Sunrise and Carnival Radiance that include four-day cruises to the island as well.

Carnival's diverse Bermuda schedule not only encompasses a wide range of cruise durations and homeports but also a variety of ship sizes and amenities, providing consumers with unprecedented opportunities to visit the popular destination.

"Guest feedback on our Bermuda program has been nothing short of sensational and we're delighted to expand our offerings to provide even more guests an opportunity to experience all this tropical island paradise has to offer," said Fred Stein, Carnival's vice president of revenue planning and deployment.

The seven week-long cruises to Bermuda from Baltimore will be offered aboard Carnival Pride and spend three days in Bermuda, while a seven-day cruise from Charleston aboard Carnival Sunshine will feature two days on the island along with a visit to the private Bahamian destination of Princess Cays. Baltimore departure dates include May 31, Aug. 2 and 23, Sept. 6 and 20, and Oct. 4 and 18, 2020. The cruise from Charleston departs Oct. 17, 2020.

While in Bermuda, guests can relax on the island's legendary pink beaches, enjoy snorkeling, kayaking and other water sports, and visit historical landmarks such as Royal Naval Dockyard and Gibb's Hill Lighthouse, the oldest cast iron lighthouse in the Western Hemisphere. Numerous shopping, dining and golfing experiences are also available.

Princess Cruises Announces Escape Room Experience
Cruise guests ready to travel through time and space need to look no further than Princess Cruises newest ships – Sky Princess and Enchanted Princess – to experience Phantom Bridge, a world's first game combining digital and physical elements for the ultimate immersive escape room.

"Phantom Bridge, our newest Discovery at SEA interactive attraction, will offer our guests the exclusive opportunity to live a real-world, gamified experience with more than 700 different outcomes for the ultimate adventure," said Denise Saviss, Princess Cruises vice president of entertainment experience. "Partnering with Farbound to deliver this unprecedented technology and world's first interactive Mediascape Room further solidifies our commitment to share innovative and distinctive offerings to our guests."

On the Phantom Bridge, Princess Cruises guests will face immersive environments and show moments as they race to solve puzzles and travel to endangered time periods. The entire ship will transform and respond to guest actions, enveloping them in the story. Developed exclusively for Princess Cruises by Farbound, the leader in gamified real-life experiences, the debut of Phantom Bridge will feature the first Mediascape Room, the proprietary gaming and show-control system that runs the entire game play.

"As Princess Cruises is committed to delivering a completely different and memorable experience for its guests, we are so honored to be working with them as Farbound's partner. This new class of entertainment offerings will strengthen and hold Princess Cruises position as the leader in the travel industry," said Tim Rheault & Steve Trowbridge, Co-Founders of Farbound.

Phantom Bridge offers a range of activities including:

Uncover the clues to solve the mystery – projection mapping, touch screen surfaces and hidden physical elements bring the environment to life as players race to uncover new clues and solve puzzles that will transport them to the next endangered time period.

Blends the physical with the digital with immersive effects – players captain the ship and turn the physical wheel to navigate the vessel and watch as the simulation view changes. Lighting, sound and digital features disguised as physical ones are combined to create an immersive, realistic experience, every step of the way. But, players beware as they'll never know when a new item could mysteriously appear and be the key to the next puzzle.

Families can play together! – Phantom Bridge tailors the experience to players of all ages, heights and physical abilities so parents, kids and grandparents can all play together. Plus, with so many levels, time periods and puzzles more than 700 different outcomes are possible, which means players can come back and engage in Phantom Bridge time and time again since it's never the same adventure.

Phantom Bridge will also debut onboard the cruise line's next ship, Enchanted Princess, summer 2020. Guests can try Phantom Bridge in the new Experience Center located on deck 18. The event lasts 23 minutes and can accommodate up to six people.

For families looking for immersive, enriching and fun experiences while traveling, Princess Cruises has partnered with Discovery Inc. to create Discovery at SEA onboard programming that brings to life destinations and fan-favorite Discovery and Animal Planet shows. Guests can choose from exclusive, family friendly shore excursions and onboard activities like Stargazing at Sea. Younger cruisers, 17 and under, will also enjoy the recently renovated Camp Discovery Youth & Teen Centers.

New, Amplified Adventures On Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas To Make A Summer Splash In Europe
Travelers can soon take in Europe's historic destinations from a bold, new perspective on board the amplified Allure of the Seas. Royal Caribbean International has revealed the signature feats and innovative experiences coming to the renowned Oasis Class ship as part of a 58-day, $165 million transformation. Guests will be able to conquer a continent's worth of adventures and come back for more with Allure's upcoming lineup of new features, including the Ultimate Abyss, the tallest slide at sea; The Perfect Storm trio of waterslides, completely redesigned Adventure Ocean kids and teens spaces, the first Giovanni's Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar, and Quantum Class original Music Hall. Reimagined as the ultimate summer vacation in Europe, Allure will open its season of 7-night Western Mediterranean cruises from homeport Barcelona, Spain on May 10, 2020.

Whether the moment calls for thrills or relaxation, vacationers sailing on the amplified Allure of the Seas can test their courage or sit back at the Pool and Sports Zone neighborhood that will now tout the perfect family day out. Feature highlights include:

• The 10-story Ultimate Abyss, the tallest slide at sea

• The Perfect Storm trio of waterslides, Typhoon, Cyclone and Supercell

• Splashaway Bay kids aquapark, featuring twin drench buckets, three waterslides, fountains, pools, water cannons and a Splash Pad for tots

• Reimagined pool deck, complete with The Lime & Coconut signature bar across two locations, a wider variety of seating and shade with cabana-like "casitas," daybeds, hammocks and swing seats; new whirlpools on the top deck, and a reinvigorated, adults-only Solarium

The thrill will go from the outside-in on board the amped-up Allure. Expanding on the ways that families can spend time together and on their own are the additions of completely reimagined, dedicated spaces for babies, kids and teens, and popular Royal Caribbean activities.

• All-new Adventure Ocean, where younger kids can choose their own immersive adventures across an entirely new layout. The major makeover will bring to life interactive, personalized and unexpected activities and features in areas redesigned from top to bottom, including whimsical rooms with climbable creations at Play Place, hands-on art, science and tech fun at Workshop; friendly competition in physical, interactive games at Arena; the Hangout, to chill and make new friends over gaming consoles or sit back for some quality "me" time, AO Babies for babies and tots, and experiential activities at the multipurpose AO Junior space specially designed for 3- to 5-year-olds

• Maxed-out teen spaces, debuting a 360-degree transformation, with a secret speakeasy-like entrance leading into an exclusive lounge with gaming consoles, music, movies, places to hang out and a new outdoor deck

• Glow-in-the-dark laser tag in Clash for the Crystal City and Royal Escape Room – Apollo 18: Lunar Landing, an out-of-this-world expedition that challenges guests to solve puzzle after puzzle before time runs out

A World of Flavors

Allure will deliver an array of culinary possibilities with more restaurants, casual spots and bars joining the already-diverse offering of specialty and complimentary options.

• Giovanni's Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar, a new take on a guest-favorite, will offer the beloved family-style, rustic dining experience with an enhanced menu of Italian staples, complete with hand-tossed pizza from the new in-house pizza oven, an expansive charcuterie station and a wide selection of wines and limoncellos

• Portside BBQ will serve up a menu inspired by popular barbecue styles across the United States, including brisket, pulled pork, chicken, burnt ends, mac and cheese, homestyle cornbread and more Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade for gameday watch parties on big-screen TVs, tournaments, bar bites with a twist and ice-cold brews

• El Loco Fresh, featuring casual Mexican "street fare"

• Sugar Beach, the sweetest spot on board with more than 220 types of candy and ice cream Bionic Bar by Makr Shakr, manned by two robot bartenders shaking up classic cocktails and custom orders

Amped-Up Hotspots

After a day of exploring iconic destinations and channeling their inner adventurer, guests can go out for a "night on the town" and find new venues added to the nightlife offered on board.

• Music Hall, a Quantum Class favorite, will take live music to the next level with revolving setlists and cover bands, ample lounge seating on two levels and room to rock out on the dance floor

• Spotlight Karaoke, the dedicated karaoke bar with both main stage and private room experiences will feature thousands of songs to choose from, music trivia and themed nights

Beginning May 2020, Allure of the Seas' 7-night Western Mediterranean cruises sailing roundtrip from Barcelona will visit must-see cities such as Palma de Mallorca, Spain; Provence (Marseille), France; Florence/Pisa (La Spezia), Rome (Civitavecchia) and Naples/Capri, Italy.

Allure joins the original gamechanger, Oasis of the Seas, as the second Oasis Class ship to be reimagined in the $1 billion Royal Amplified fleet modernization program. These two revolutionary ships will steal the spotlight next year in Europe and the New York area, respectively, as the boldest summer vacations on both sides of the Atlantic.

In November 2020, Allure will make its way coast to coast to Miami for the winter season. Sailing from Royal Caribbean's state-of-the-art Terminal A, the reimagined ship will offer 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises. Many of the ship's Caribbean itineraries will include visits to the cruise line's new private island destination in The Bahamas, Perfect Day at CocoCay.

Princess Cruises Launches Local Connections: Alaska
New for the 2019 season and celebrating the cruise line's 50th year sailing in Alaska, Princess Cruises has partnered with a team of local experts in Alaska to give guests even more exclusive and authentic experiences ashore as part of the cruise line's award-winning Local Connections program.

"Local Connections in Alaska was designed to connect our guests with the people of the destination, and offer them interactive experiences with local chefs, artists and expert guides," said Bruce Krumrine, Princess Cruises vice president of shore excursions. "With 50 years of experience sailing to the Great Land, we know the type of shore excursions our guests desire. From cooking with an Alaskan Chef to axe throwing with Lumberjacks, we know they'll love every authentic experience and create long-lasting memories."

With a total of 15 featured shore excursions in four Alaska ports, Princess Cruises has partnered with well-known chefs, artists, wildlife experts, seafaring captains and much more. Examples include:

• Icy Strait Point - Cooking in Alaska's Wildest Kitchen with Alaskan Chef: Learn to prepare wild, natural and sustainable Alaska seafood in a hands-on tasting session hosted by wilderness chef Dodie Lunda. Living on a floathouse for 23 years in remote Alaska made her a creative and accomplished cook.

• Juneau - Culinary Demonstration with Alaskan Chef: Winner of 2017's Great American Seafood Cook-Off, Chef Lionel Uddipa takes local Alaska flavors and ingredients and updates them with modern flair. During the one-hour cooking lesson you can witness the exquisite creations of this inspiring chef and artist as he shares how evolving and creative cooking can be used with Alaska's bounty of fresh seafood.

• Ketchikan - Ketchikan Photo Safari with Nature Photographer: Photographers and outdoor enthusiasts will thrill to an excursion designed for the novice, as well as the professional. Led by one of three local photographers, your guide will share area history, facts and stories as you travel from six to eight different sites in a Ford transit passenger van through town and into the wild.

• Skagway - Ghosts & Goodtime Girls Walking Tour Created by Madam Jan: Learn about the strong and courageous women of the past as you hear stories from Red Onion Saloon owner and "head madam," Jan Wrentmore. This excursion celebrates their enterprising spirit.

Other Alaska Local Connections shore excursions include:

Juneau
Whale Watching & Wildlife Quest Created by the Allen Family
Discover Alaska's Whales – A Small-Group Experience Created by Alaskan Captain
Whale Watching & Mendenhall Glacier Photo Safari Designed by Alaskan Photographer

Ketchikan
Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show & Axe Throwing Challenge Created by Champion Ironjack
Bering Sea Crab Fishermen's Tour Created by Captain David Lethin
Ketchikan Pub Walk Created by Bar Historian

Skagway
Skagway Street Car City Tour with Storyteller
White Pass Rail Bennett Lake & Yukon Adventure Created by Train Historian
Hands-On Kitchen Science with Alaskan Chef
Golden Glassblowing Experience at Jewell Gardens Designed by Glass Artist P

rincess Cruises has an expansive offering of Alaska cruise and cruisetour vacations on sale now. Guests who have booked Princess Cruises to Alaska can pre-reserve Local Connections Shore Excursions online for each port their itinerary visits, or on board with a knowledgeable Shore Excursion team member.

Carnival Cruise Line Partners with Clean the World to Assist in Global Soap Recycling Initiative
Today, Carnival Cruise Line announced it is the first large-scale cruise operator to partner with Clean the World. Through this global sustainability program, nearly 40 tons of discarded soap will be collected each year to be recycled into new soap bars and distributed to vulnerable communities worldwide.

Clean the World is a global health leader in WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) and sustainability dedicated to saving lives by recycling and distributing soap and other hygiene products to more than 127 countries.

As part of the program, Carnival will start collecting discarded soap from guest and crew staterooms throughout the fleet and send it to a Clean the World recycling center where the soap will be sanitized, melted down and reprocessed. Together, Carnival and Clean the World will distribute more than 400,000 new, clean bars of soap to people in need across the globe each year. The new program has already been tested on several of Carnival's ships and will be rolled out across its entire North American fleet by the end of July. It is one of multiple initiatives underway to further reduce waste disposal and recycle additional products used on board.

Through its partnership with Carnival, Clean the World will be able to expand its existing recycling program to locations throughout the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Bermuda and Central America, providing life-saving hygiene services to residents in these areas as well as further support its WASH programming in the Dominican Republic.

"We're proud and honored to be the first large-scale cruise line to partner with Clean the World, an organization dedicated to improving the lives of those in underprivileged communities throughout the world," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "Carnival guests use more than three million bars of soap each year. With this partnership, we'll positively impact the lives of so many people who will have access to a basic hygiene product that so many of us take for granted."

"We rely on partners to help us deliver much-needed hygiene supplies to children and families in the Caribbean, Puerto Rico, and South America, which are among the areas most in need of this support," says Shawn Seipler, founder and chief executive officer, Clean the World. "This incredible partnership with Carnival Cruise Line allows us to expand our outreach, putting more soap into the hands of people in need. We hope that this program will continue to grow in the future."

Clean the World has contributed to a 60 percent reduction in the death rate of young children worldwide.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 46.95 + 1.14%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 112.85 - 0.86%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 1.02 - 0.97%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 50.36 + 0.22%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Only two four-stack ships were built for service on a route other than the North Atlantic. Name either of these ships and the route they were built for?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Here's one from a 1967 booklet put out by the Trans-Atlantic Passenger Steamship Conference - What is the name of the small rope, tied to the end of a hawser on a ship. The rope is is thrown ashore, and by it, one end of the hawser is hauled to the pier.

Answer - The small rope used to retrieve main" hawsers",when docking is called a "heaving" line.
courtesy of Bill Richards, Highlands, NJ


Cruise News - July 8, 2019

Carnival Corporation to Significantly Reduce Single-Use Plastics by End of 2021
Carnival Corporation & plc today announced that it will significantly eliminate its purchase and consumption of non-essential single-use plastics by the end of 2021. The effort to dramatically reduce single-use plastics across its nine global cruise line brands is part of an expansion of Operation Oceans Alive, the corporation's program to further its ongoing commitment to achieve and sustain environmental compliance and excellence.

Carnival Corporation and its cruise line brands already have plans under way, including initiatives to reduce or eliminate plastic straws, cups, lids, and bags, among other single-use items. The brands are also working to potentially eliminate individual servings of select packaged food items and other single-use plastics or decorative items used in food and beverage service as well as in staterooms.

The company is immediately focusing on reducing single-use plastic items not used for sanitary or public health-related purposes. As part of the company's stringent Health, Environment, Safety and Security (HESS) Policy and to comply with national and international regulations governing cruise ship operations, there are some single-use plastic items that cannot be completely eliminated, including plastic trash can liners in common areas and sanitary gloves, among others.

"We recognize that to be a responsible global organization, a good corporate citizen and the environmental leader our guests expect us to be, we need to continue to take proactive measures to ensure sustainability is ingrained in all aspects of our operation across our nine global cruise brands," said Bill Burke, chief maritime officer for Carnival Corporation. "Our Operation Oceans Alive platform and this initiative to dramatically reduce single-use plastics across our global fleet are just some of the ways we are committed to continuously enhancing our operations and focus on environmental compliance and excellence. Along with the support of our more than 120,000 dedicated employees, most of whom live and work at sea, we will do our part to preserve and protect the oceans, seas and destinations we visit around the world."

Added Burke: "We know our guests share our commitment to protecting the world we live in, and we appreciate their support as we continue our ongoing efforts to be proactive stewards, ambassadors and guardians of our environment."

Underscoring Carnival Corporation's long-term goal to achieve and sustain environmental compliance and excellence, these efforts are part of the company's expanding Operation Oceans Alive program, which promotes a culture of transparency, learning and commitment across its global operations.

Introduced in January 2018, Carnival Corporation launched Operation Oceans Alive as an internal effort and call to action to further ensure all employees receive proper education, training and oversight, while continuing the company-wide commitment to protecting the oceans, seas and destinations in which it operates.

In the program's first year, the corporation continued to implement innovative technology solutions for sustainability, accelerate environmental training efforts and improve communications to achieve a higher level of environmental awareness and a culture of environmental stewardship. The initiative is now being expanded externally as the platform for the corporation's commitment to achieving and sustaining environmental compliance, excellence and leadership, and will continue to expand through an increase in funding, staffing and responsibility.

Operation Oceans Alive and the company's plan to dramatically reduce single-use plastics are among a series of ongoing efforts designed to further strengthen the company's commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility, as outlined in its 2020 Sustainability Goals.

In 2018, the company announced it achieved its 25% carbon reduction goal three years ahead of schedule, and it is on track with its nine other 2020 sustainability targets for reducing its environmental footprint, while enhancing the health, safety and security of its guests and crew members, and ensuring sustainable business practices among its nine cruise line brands, business partners and suppliers.

These efforts and others support Carnival Corporation's long-term commitment to sustainability, responsible operations and protecting the environment, and are an important part of the company's supervised terms of probation, which include initiatives such as reducing single-use plastics, and environmental compliance plan, which includes initiatives such as organizational and structural improvements to teams, equipment and procedures.

Princess Cruises Announces 2020-2021 South America & Antarctica Program
South America and Antarctica continue to lure travelers from around the world, and with Princess Cruises' 2020-2021 program, guests can discover this region of the world with unique cruising opportunities. New for 2020-2021, guests will be offered the opportunity to see the Total Solar Eclipse off the coast of Argentina on Dec. 14, 2020 during the 15-day Cape Horn & Strait of Magellan itinerary on Coral Princess. Cruises are now on sale.

"We make traveling to the bucket-list destinations of South America & Antarctica easy for our guests, while offering unique opportunities to explore this culturally rich and beautiful region," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. "All of our Antarctica and Cape Horn cruises include four days of Antarctic Peninsula scenic cruising, immersing guests in the best of the stunning ice-bound destination."

South America & Antarctica 2020-2021 itinerary highlights include:

• Two ships – Coral Princess and Pacific Princess – sailing to 35 destinations in 17 countries on 8 unique itineraries.

• Coral Princess sails to Antarctica and South America, including a 15-day Cape Horn & Strait of Magellan cruise with the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the Total Solar Eclipse off the coast of Argentina on Dec. 14, 2020.

• Pacific Princess circumnavigates the continent on a 90-day Circle South America roundtrip from Sydney, Australia, featuring an overnight in Rio de Janeiro during the world-renowned Carnival and calling to off-the-beaten-path destinations like Easter Island and Ilhabela.

• Opportunities to take an overland tour to visit the Galapagos Islands and Machu Picchu on an 18-day Andes & South America cruise.

• Overland tour to visit Iguazu Falls from Buenos Aires on the 17-day Brazillian Adventure itinerary

• More Ashore overnight stays in Lima (Callao), Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro.

Cunard Celebrates Opening of Historic Exhibit on the Queen Mary
Cunard's youngest ship, Queen Elizabeth, met her ancestor, the Queen Mary, in Long Beach harbor to celebrate the July Fourth holiday. During this rare visit, Queen Elizabeth's Captain Inger Thorhauge offered a 'salute' to the historic Queen Mary by sounding her horn, and guests on both vessels were treated to a spectacular fireworks show that evening.

On July 5, 'The Cunard Story' on The Queen Mary was officially dedicated. Captain Thorhauge joined Everette Hoard, Commodore of The Queen Mary, Collette Weston, Deputy Consul General of the British Consulate Los Angeles, and John Jenkins, General Manager, The Queen Mary, for the ribbon-cutting to launch this new exhibition. 'The Cunard Story' on the Queen Mary tells the evolution of the line's remarkable 179-year history and illustrates the legacy of a brand responsible for many innovations seen today in modern day cruising.

'The Cunard Story,' a permanent exhibition, showcases the company's legacy through artifacts, photographs and film, and also features an Immigration Salon allowing visitors to explore the Ellis Island database to learn about the arrival and ships that carried their ancestors to America. Approximately one in five immigrants came through Ellis Island on a Cunard ship at the height of the immigration period during the latter part of the 19th century and early 20th century.

The 2,081-passenger Queen Elizabeth had sailed down from her first season in Alaska and spent an overnight in the Port of Los Angeles on July 4, setting sail south to Mexico on July 5. The ship will transit the Panama Canal, call in New York City, and arrive in Halifax, NS on July 26 to meet her other sister ship, Queen Mary 2, for a celebration in the company's ancestral home.

Norwegian Cruise Line Announces New Immersive 2020 Itineraries
Norwegian Cruise Line announced Norwegian Jade’s Greek Isles and Italy 2020 itineraries, which will feature compelling, wish list destinations including Santorini and Mykonos, Greece and Monte Carlo, Monaco.

The cruise line also announced itineraries on Norwegian Spirit and Norwegian Sun.

Norwegian Spirit

Following a multi-million-dollar, bow-to-stern revitalization in January 2020, Norwegian Spirit will return to Asia for a series of immersive itineraries. From May 9 through December 21, 2020, she will sail a mix of nine-to-15-day voyages showcasing the very best of the region including four new ports of call for the brand. These new ports are Beppu, Kumamoto, Niigata and Nagoya, Japan. Norwegian Spirit will also overnight in Tokyo and Kyoto (Osaka), Japan; Shanghai, China; and Hong Kong. During these unique itineraries, guests will have the chance to witness the historic Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan; view the colorful fall foliage in Taipei,Taiwan; visit the largest temple in Shanghai, the Longhua Temple; walk the Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China; or drift down the Love River in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

Norwegian Sun

Following a three-year hiatus in the region, Norwegian Sun returns to Alaska on May 21, 2020 joining Norwegian Bliss, Joy and Jewel. She will offer the brand’s most extensive itineraries in the area with nine-to-12-day voyages from Seattle with calls to Sitka, Glacier Bay, Hubbard Glacier, Holkham Bay, Juneau and Ketchikan, Alaska; as well as a stop in Victoria, British Columbia. Guests can spend a full day exploring Icy Strait Point, one of the most naturally-beautiful destinations in Alaska, providing a more culturally authentic experience.

In April 2018, Norwegian Sun underwent a three-week bow-to-stern renovation as part of The Norwegian Edge program, the company’s commitment to elevating the standard of excellence across the fleet. Enhancements were made to every part of the onboard experience. The ship now features refreshed staterooms and public spaces and three new venues including Los Lobos Cantina, Bliss Ultra Lounge and Spinnaker Lounge.

Norwegian Jade

Beginning Sept. 8, 2020, Norwegian Jade will offer a variety of one-way, 10-to-11-day Greek Isles, Italy, and Mediterranean cruises departing or returning from Barcelona, Spain; Venice, Italy; and Athens (Piraeus), Greece, where the company will homeport for the first time. These port-intensive itineraries offer guests two distinct homeports to explore and the chance to discover a new destination every day with calls to Monte Carlo, Monaco; Florence/Pisa (Livorno), Rome (Civitavecchia), Naples and Messina, Italy; Olympia (Katakolon), Santorini, Rhodes and Mykonos, Greece; and Kusadasi, Turkey.

Princess Cruises Announces Return of Pacific Princess to Australia
Princess Cruises has announced Pacific Princess' 2020-2021 summer line-up in Australia, with the boutique ship offering cruisers a number of unique itineraries during its four-month deployment. Prior to arriving in Sydney, Pacific Princess will also sail on an additional 10-day Tahiti voyage due to popular demand of the cruise line's return to this region

Pacific Princess' program will include an epic 90-day roundtrip Sydney voyage around South America, a 13-day cruise to New Zealand and a special 21-day sailing to remote locations in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.

"The return of Pacific Princess to Australia for the region's popular summer season marks the first time six Princess ships will be based Down Under, representing one-third of our global fleet," said Jan Swartz Princess Cruises president. "Our growth in this region further cements our position as Australia's leading cruise line, offering nearly 25 percent more capacity for the summer 2020-21 season than any other cruise line."

The December 2020 arrival of the 670-guest Pacific Princess coincides with the 45th anniversary of Princess Cruises' first roundtrip cruise from Australia, a voyage on the original Pacific Princess which served as the iconic backdrop and co-star of the popular TV series "The Love Boat."

New Pacific Princess 2020-21 season highlights include:

• Due to the popularity of the five, 10-day Tahiti voyages previously announced for fall 2020, Pacific Princess will sail an additional 10-day Tahiti & French Polynesia voyage departing on November 24, 2020.This voyage can be combined with a new 16-day South Pacific & New Zealand itinerary sailing from Tahiti (Papeete) to Sydney for a 26-day Tahiti &

• South Pacific Grand Adventure. The 16-day itinerary departs Tahiti (Papeete) on December 4, 2020.

• Pacific Princess' arrival into Sydney coincides with Princess Cruises' 45th Anniversary of sailing from Australia. To commemorate this anniversary, Pacific Princess will sail on a special 13-day New Zealand Connoisseur voyage visiting boutique ports in New Zealand including Stewart Island, Kaikoura and New Plymouth. The voyage also offers special anniversary-themed activities and departs Sydney on December 21, 2020.

• On January 3, 2021, Pacific Princess then sails on a voyage of a lifetime, a 90-day Circle South America voyage, roundtrip from Sydney, which circumnavigates the continent and visits Rio de Janeiro during the famed Carnival festival. Options to sail from Auckland or to Brisbane will also be available. This epic voyage includes 28 destinations in 16 countries including overnights in Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires and Lima (Callao), with maiden calls for the Princess Australian market to Santos, Ilhabela, Natal and Guayaquil.

• To round out her deployment from Australia, Pacific Princess will also offer a new 21-day Papua New Guinea & Solomon Islands itinerary, departing April 3, 2021, with maiden calls to Madang, Wewak and Gizo Island. Following this unique voyage, Pacific Princess sails to Japan on a 24-day Asia & Australia visiting amazing destinations in Taiwan and Japan, including Hualien and Ishigaki.

Silversea To Open Sales For New Silver Origin
Starting on July 16, 2019, travellers will be able to reserve their suites aboard Silversea's new ship, Silver Origin, which has been designed entirely with the Galapagos Islands in mind and will be the most elegant ship to ever sail the region when it launches in summer 2020. The all-suite, 100-guest Silver Origin will embark on her maiden voyage in July 2020, unlocking the authentic beauty of the Galapagos by connecting guests with the destination through immersive experiences.

"Our unique, industry-leading offering in the Galapagos Islands is being enhanced further still for the benefit of our guests," says Roberto Martinoli, Silversea's President and CEO. "From July 16, 2019, we will open sales for Silver Origin, which will enrich guests' experiences with an unprecedented level of elegance and comfort. After admiring endemic species in the wild and exploring the beautiful landscapes of the Galapagos - with the guidance of local experts - guests will continue their discovery of this unique destination on board, through regionally inspired cuisine, informative lectures and various other enhancements."

Silversea's new ultra-luxury ship will continue the award-winning legacy of the retiring Silver Galapagos by alternating two seven-night itineraries between Baltra and San Cristobal, unlocking varying experiences for guests, as follows:

Baltra to San Cristobal
Aboard Silver Origin for Silversea's north central itinerary, guests will enjoy a circumnavigation of Isla Daphne Major and explorations of Darwin Bay and Prince Philip's Steps in Genovesa; Galapaguera Cerro Colorado and Punta Pitt in San Cristobal; Gardner Bay and Punta Suarez in Espanola; El Eden, Charles Darwin Research Station and Puerto Ayora in Santa Cruz; as well as Sullivan Bay, North Seymour, Rabida, and South Plaza. Highlights of this seven-day itinerary include the chance to witness captivating wildlife species in their natural habitats, including and an abundance of marine life through various snorkelling opportunities – potentially near schools of tropical fish, turtles and impressive whitetip reef sharks; and the chance to explore unusual geological features, including lava flows at Sullivan Bay, among other experiences.

San Cristobal to Baltra
Silversea's western itinerary encompasses such points of interest as Cerro Dragon and Las Bachas Beach in Santa Cruz and a circumnavigation of Kicker Rock. The itinerary also includes Punta Vicente Roca, Tagus Cove and Elizabeth Bay in Isabela; Post Office Bay, Champion Islet and Punta Cormorant in Floreana; Los Gemelos, Charles Darwin Research Station and Puerto Ayora in Santa Cruz; Playa Espumilla in Santiago, conditions permitting; Punta Espinoza in Fernandina; and Bartolome Island. Guests travelling westbound with Silversea will witness magnificent geological features, including Kicker Rock and Pinnacle Rock; enjoy a Zodiac ride to Buccaneer's Cove, which once provided a refuge for pirates; and various other unforgettable experiences.

On both itineraries, Silver Origin's guests will spend their days exploring Darwin's "Living Laboratory of Evolution," where they might spot giant tortoises, colourful marine iguanas, comical Blue-footed Boobies, energetic sea lion pups, Flightless Cormorants, Galapagos Hawks and Galapagos Penguins. Expert local naturalists of the highest calibre—one for every ten guests, providing the highest ratio of guides-per-guest in the Galapagos—will share their knowledge and insights, as they lead complimentary excursions. A fleet of eight Zodiac crafts—the largest in the region on a per-guest basis—and kayaks will enhance the adventure with on-water exploration.

In 2020, two special extended voyages are planned for the holiday season: departing December 19, 2020, guests will be able to travel deeper into the destination on an 11-day voyage from San Cristobal to Baltra, while a 12-day New Year's cruise will depart Baltra on December 29, 2020, concluding in San Cristobal.

"The Galapagos Islands are one of the world's greatest pristine wonderlands," said Fernando Delgado, Silversea's Vice President and General Manager of Canodros C.L. "It will be our honour to unlock the authentic beauty of this region for guests, as they journey aboard the environmentally conscious Silver Origin, enjoying the ship's understated elegance and all-inclusive comforts and luxuries."

Thoughtfully crafted to provide superlative comfort, Silver Origin's stylish, butler-serviced suites are among the most spacious in Galapagos cruising. Each features a private veranda or a Horizon Balcony to provide stunning views of the island landscape. Luxury amenities include a minibar stocked with local snacks and a range of soft and alcoholic drinks, in-suite fresh water purification system, large flat-screen television, choice of pillows, eco-friendly bath amenities, plush robes and slippers, 24-hour room service and in-suite dining, unlimited complimentary Wi-Fi, and complimentary expedition gear that includes a waterproof backpack, raincoat and premium metallic water bottle.

Silver Origin's eight suite categories include one Owner's Suite that wraps around the ship's rear section on Deck 6, offering an unrivalled panoramic view. Situated directly below, on Deck 5, are the ship's one Grand Suite and one Royal Suite, which are connecting suites that may be combined into one ideal suite for family and friends travelling together. Rounding out the most spacious accommodation options are two Silver Suites—located forward on Deck 5—each of which can be connected to an adjacent Classic Veranda Suite to accommodate groups. All of these top-tier suites feature a large veranda with comfortable outdoor furniture and floor-to-ceiling glass doors. A first for Silversea, the Owner's, Grand, and Royal suites offer an ocean-view whirlpool bath and separate shower, accessible from the veranda (except in the Grand Suite). The Silver Suites' whirlpool bath and separate shower provide exterior views and can be accessed from the veranda.

The remaining four suite categories include one Medallion Suite, seven Deluxe Veranda Suites, and sixteen Superior Veranda Suites located on Deck 6. These accommodations are most notable for their innovative Horizon Balcony, which converts into an indoor living space with a floor-to-ceiling window. On Deck 5, there are also twenty-two Classic Veranda Suites, each with floor-to-ceiling sliding doors that open onto the veranda. Additionally, they offer third-guest capacity as well as several connecting suites.

With the environment in mind, Silver Origin will feature a dynamic positioning system, which will be used when the ship is positioned over a delicate seabed ecosystems to prevent the anchor from causing damage. Moreover, Silver Origin's guests will be gifted a metallic reusable bottle that will leverage in-suite freshwater purifications system that convert seawater into drinking water, drastically reducing the use of plastic on board. The ship will also meet the highest standards of energy efficiency in the segment.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 46.42 + 0.28%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 111.89 - 5.23%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 1.03 - 0.96%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 50.25 - 4.87%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Here's one from a 1967 booklet put out by the Trans-Atlantic Passenger Steamship Conference - What is the name of the small rope, tied to the end of a hawser on a ship. The rope is is thrown ashore, and by it, one end of the hawser is hauled to the pier.

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Beginning in March of 1989, Cunard's QE2 was out of service for 72 days. Why was she out of service?

Answer - The QE2 was on a 72 day charter to the Port of Yokohama Japan, which ran from March 30, 1989 through June 9, 1989.
courtesy of Larry P Macdonald, Belmont, MA USA


Cruise News - July 1, 2019

Royal Caribbean Orders Third Icon-Class Ship
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. today announced that it has entered into an agreement with shipbuilder Meyer Turku to order a third Icon-class ship for delivery in 2025.

The ship will join its two sister ships – to be delivered in 2022 and 2024, respectively – in Royal Caribbean International's fleet, an industry leader in innovation, clean technology, and breakthrough ship design.

"We are thrilled to announce the newest addition to our Icon-class fleet that affirms our commitment to clean-power technologies at sea," said Richard Fain, Chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. "We've designed a class of ships powered by liquefied natural gas that leverages the latest, environmentally-friendly applications. We believe that innovative shipbuilding can reduce our carbon footprint and boost energy efficiencies to help to build a cleaner future."

"These are exciting times for Royal Caribbean, and we have an incredible partner in Meyer Turku to bring to life now three vessels of what will be a remarkable class of ships," said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. "Building on our vision with the addition of a third order is a testament to our confidence in the innovative design and energy-efficient technology and engineering that will, without a doubt, make Icon class a game changer."

"We are very thankful to Royal Caribbean for their confidence in the Icon ship design and our ability to build such an exceptional ship even before the first Icon is delivered," said Jan Meyer, CEO, Meyer Turku.

This order is contingent upon financing.

Carnival Vista’s Propulsion System to be Repaired Using First-Of-Its-Kind ‘Floating Dry Dock’
Carnival Cruise Line announced today that Netherlands-based Boskalis, a worldwide leader in marine solutions, will deploy a transport vessel as a first of its kind “floating dry dock” facility to complete the repairs to Carnival Vista’s two azipods, the ship’s main propulsion system. The procedure will entail loading the ship onto a semi-submersible heavy transport vessel, Boka Vanguard, and then docking the vessel at the Grand Bahama shipyard for the repair work.

A video animation detailing the “floating dry dock” process can be viewed here www.vimeo.com/boskalis/vista.

“This groundbreaking procedure made possible by Boskalis is a revolutionary way to ensure Carnival Vista’s repairs are completed in a safe, timely and efficient manner, so the ship can resume her popular seven-day schedule from Galveston later this month,” said Lars Ljoen, executive vice president of marine operations for Carnival Cruise Line.

Boka Vanguard is expected to arrive in Bahamian waters on Friday, July 5 to prepare for Carnival Vista’s arrival on July 12. The loading, transport and repairs are expected to take approximately two weeks, allowing Carnival Vista to return to Galveston in time for her July 27 voyage and continue with year-round seven-day Caribbean itineraries.

Cunard Welcomes Back Former Bellboy - Now 100
Luxury cruise line Cunard has welcomed back one of their oldest living former crewmembers as he prepares to celebrate his 100th birthday in the same month that Cunard will celebrate 100-years of sailing from the City of Southampton.

November 2019 marks a century since the record-breaking superliner RMS. Mauretania inaugurated Cunard's Southampton express transatlantic service; linking the Hampshire shipping hub with New York City.

Former Cunard bellboy, John 'Jack' Jenkins MBE, who recently gave a moving speech at the D-Day commemoration ceremony in Portsmouth attended by Her Majesty the Queen, HRH The Prince of Wales and US President Donald Trump, was recently welcomed on board Cunard's iconic ocean liner Queen Mary 2 by Captain Aseem Hashmi MNM for a celebratory lunch. Whilst on board, the Captain invited Mr Jenkins to inspect the ship's bellboys – to ensure they met the high standards of 1930s Cunard service.

Queen Mary 2's crew easily passed the inspection, though Mr. Jenkins was quick to point out that working on board Mauretania was quite different to how it is today.

"I remember one of my first trips, when we sailed to the West Indies," Mr. Jenkins Recalls. "When we would arrive in port I would then have to walk around on deck with a gong, as we had no tannoy system back then, and bang the gong and say, 'All visitors ashore, all visitors ashore'."

Born at a time when ocean liners were the only way to travel, Mr. Jenkins went on to join Cunard in 1933 as a bellboy and lift operator. RMS. Mauretania was the first Cunard ship he was appointed to – the very ship that established Cunard's Southampton hub in the year of his birth.

After Mauretania was retired in 1934, Mr. Jenkins served on board the Cunard ship Ascania until the outbreak of World War II. Joining the war effort, he fought at D-Day in 1945, before returning to the UK to take up a career in the merchant navy.

"It was such an honor to welcome back Mr. Jenkins to the Cunard family," said Captain Hashmi. "It felt like a very fitting way to start our centenary celebrations, here in Southampton, and of course to congratulate Mr. Jenkins on such a special milestone birthday that he will celebrate later this year. The members of the ship's company and I thoroughly enjoyed listening to stories of what life was like on board, and we look forward to the opportunity to do so again."

Departing November 18, 2019, Queen Mary 2 will undertake an historic Transatlantic Crossing from Southampton to New York – in tribute of the century long relationship between the City and Cunard. Guests on this celebratory voyage will journey into the past thanks to a travelling maritime exhibition from Southampton's Sea City Museum, as well as a series of enrichment lectures on board. Maritime Historian and author Chris Frame, will be joined by local history expert Penny Legg, each presenting a series of unique talks about the long and illustrious history of Cunard and Southampton.

Seabourn Unveils Custom Subs To Take Travelers "Below The Surface" On New Ultra-Luxury Purpose-Built Expedition Ships
Seabourn, the world's finest ultra-luxury cruise line, is preparing to take travelers into the depths of the ocean for the first time by revealing the design and details for its custom submarines that will operate excursions for an additional charge from the line's two upcoming ultra-luxury purpose-built expedition ships. Both Seabourn Venture and her yet-to-be-named sister ship will sail to the far corners of the Earth carrying two U-Boat Worx Cruise Sub 7 subs designed specifically for Seabourn.

Each battery-powered sub will carry six guests as well as one pilot, who will guide the journey up to 300 meters beneath the surface to explore sunken wrecks, reefs, and view marine wildlife in their natural habitat. Guests are seated in two clear acrylic spheres flanking the center pilot's station, with an awe-inspiring perspective of the marine world just outside thanks to undisturbed and undistorted views in virtually all directions. The three passenger seats in each sphere are mounted on a rotating platform that can turn for best sightlines.

"The undersea world is often considered as the last great frontier on Earth, with more than 80 percent of the underwater realm remaining unmapped, unobserved, and unexplored according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration," said Robin West, vice president of Expedition Operations for Seabourn. "With these subs, we're going to take our guests to places that few have ever seen firsthand, leaving them with a perspective on the world around us that is jaw-dropping and will create stories to last a lifetime."

To maximize the guest experience, the subs will be outfitted with a host of optional equipment to enhance this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. A 4k underwater video camera system will record the world outside while an internal video recording system will capture imagery of guests inside and their direct surroundings. Video footage can then be downloaded and projected on large screens in the Discovery Center during lectures aboard the ships. A six-function manipulator arm capable of lifting up to 32 kg (about 70 pounds) will also be mounted on the side of the sub. In keeping with the luxury experience found on Seabourn, each sub on both ships will be outfitted with custom embroidered leather upholstery, two air conditioning systems, a Bluetooth stereo system, and champagne chiller for guests looking to toast their voyage of discovery.

The subs will be operated multiple times per day in regions around the world where conditions are suitable. They will be equipped with underwater LED flood/spot lights, imaging sonar that acts as a second set of eyes, and an advanced underwater tracking and navigation system.

Seabourn Venture is scheduled to launch in June 2021, with a second yet-to-be-named sister ship slated to launch in May 2022. The ships are being designed from conception for expedition travel blended with ultra-luxury and personalized service by leading travel experts and seasoned professionals with great depth of experience in expedition, hospitality, and luxury cruising.

Four Holland America Line Ships Set to Explore the Contrasting Landscapes of South America and Antarctica in 2019-20
The exciting lands of red-hot tango; ice-blue glaciers; and lush, green jungle come to life when Holland America Line's Amsterdam, Koningsdam, Volendam and Zaandam head to South America and Antarctica in 2019–2020. From September 2019 through April 2020, the four ships offer cruises ranging from 14 to 48 days that cover the colorful cultures and stunning scenery of this vast continent.

Guests will explore exotic and remote ports that offer once-in-a-lifetime experiences like sailing on the Amazon River, strolling the bustling streets of Buenos Aires, relaxing on the golden beaches of Rio de Janeiro and visiting the Incan ruins of Machu Picchu.

"The contrast of cultures, climates and landscapes throughout South America is a draw for explorers seeking a wide variety on a single itinerary, and our longer cruises offer an exceptional collection of ports that highlight everything this region has to offer," said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line's president. "Travelers can choose from our newest class of ship Koningsdam to the more intimate Zaandam, both featuring localized activities, cuisine and rich cultural experiences brought to life throughout the voyage."

Departures begin on both coasts of North and South America including Fort Lauderdale, Florida; San Diego, California; Seattle, Washington; Vancouver, British Columbia; Callao (Lima), Peru; San Antonio (Santiago), Chile; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Highlights include Zaandam's full season of cruising, Koningsdam's 48-day Voyage of the Americas, the longest itinerary of the season; Amsterdam's 35-day Incan Empires; and Volendam's 30-day Amazon Explorer.

Nearly all of the itineraries feature overnight calls at some of South America's most iconic cities, including Buenos Aires; Callao; Rio de Janeiro; Manaus, Brazil; and Fuerte Amador, Panama, giving guests ample time to explore these remarkable destinations and experience the vibrant nightlife.

Zaandam's Sensational South America Season
Kicking off its extensive South America season, Zaandam embarks on a 33-day Panama Canal, Inca & South America Discovery Collectors' Voyage Oct. 16, 2019, from Fort Lauderdale to Rio de Janeiro. The ship visits ports in Aruba, Panama, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil. The sailing include a transit of the Panama Canal and an overnight at Callao.

Guests also can choose two segments of this voyage: a 17-day Inca Discovery & Panama Canal itinerary from Fort Lauderdale to San Antonio (Santiago) and a 16-day South America Passage from San Antonio (Santiago) to Rio de Janeiro.

Zaandam then sails a series of 14- or 16-day South America Passage cruises between San Antonio (Santiago) and Buenos Aires through March that features calls including Puerto Montt, Puerto Chacabuco and Punta Arenas, Chile; Ushuaia, Argentina; Stanley, Falkland Islands; and Montevideo, Uruguay, as well as scenic cruising in the breathtaking Chilean Fjords and around Cape Horn.

Guests longing for the ultimate white Christmas can embark on Zaandam's 22-Day South America & Antarctica Holiday Dec. 18 from Buenos Aires to San Antonio. The cruise includes calls in Uruguay, Argentina, the Falkland Islands and Chile. The sailing features an overnight in Buenos Aires and four days exploring the incredible vistas of Antarctica, as well as scenic cruising in the Chilean Fjords. Guests also can embark on this itinerary Jan. 9 or Jan. 31.

Zaandam concludes its South America season with a 31-day South America, Inca & Panama Canal Discovery Collectors' Voyage from Buenos Aires to Fort Lauderdale. The sailing includes overnights at Buenos Aires, Callao and Fuerte Amador, as well as calls in the Falkland Islands, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Aruba and the Bahamas. For a shorter cruise, guests can embark on a 17-day segment from San Antonio to Fort Lauderdale.

Exploring Incan Empires with Amsterdam
Departing Sept. 23, Amsterdam sails a 21- to 35-day Incan Empires cruise from Seattle to San Diego down the Pacific coasts of North and South America visiting Mexico, Panama, Ecuador, Peru, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Guatemala. The voyage includes an overnight in Callao (Lima), allowing time for a visit to Machu Picchu. Holland America Line also offers a 21-day cruise from Seattle to Callao.

In addition to departures from Seattle, guests can book a 34- or 20-day segment from Vancouver; a 14- or 28-day segment from San Diego; or a 14-day sailing from Callao.

Koningsdam Embarks on a Voyage of the Americas
On March 15, 2020, Koningsdam embarks on a 48-day Voyage of the Americas from Fort Lauderdale to Vancouver. The cruise calls at ports in Barbados, French Guiana, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Mexico and Canada. The sailing also includes an overnight in Buenos Aires.

Along with the full 48-day itinerary, guests can book nine segments: 18-, 32- or 44-day segments from Fort Lauderdale; 14-, 26- or 30-day segments from Buenos Aires; or 12- or 16-day segments from Callao.

Volendam Cruises the Longest River in the World
Conveniently sailing roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale Nov. 20, 2019, Volendam sets sail on a 30-day Amazon Explorer voyage. The ship will sail throughout the Caribbean visiting St. Bart's, St. Lucia, Barbados, Curaçao and Grand Cayman. However, the highlight of this cruise is Brazil. Guests will enjoy two weeks exploring this dynamic country with calls at multiple ports, including an overnight at Manaus at the end of the Amazon River and three full days of cruising the world's longest river.

MSC Cruises Celebrates Its 20 Millionth Cruiser
MSC Cruises — the Swiss-based world's largest privately-owned cruise line — celebrated this past weekend a key global milestone in the company's history, welcoming its 20 millionth cruiser on board the Miami-based MSC Seaside.

This significant achievement is a testament to MSC Cruises' expansion since its establishment only in 2003, quickly becoming a global player with one of the highest growth rates in the industry and the introduction of 16 cruise ships over the span of 16 years. In 2019 alone, the company will have launched two new ships — MSC Bellissima in March and MSC Grandiosa in November — and will introduce its new island destination, Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, debuting in November.

"Reaching our 20 millionth cruiser is truly a milestone achievement for MSC Cruises, and a representation of how far we've come while building a global brand that serves guests from over 170 nationalities across five continents," said Gianni Onorato, CEO of MSC Cruises. "With our capacity set to triple by 2027, we will continue to raise the bar in two main areas, on board and ashore, offering our guests a unique experience each time they sail with us. MSC Seaside is the perfect example of this: she is one of the most innovative ships at sea in terms of design as well as onboard experience. She also features the latest and some of the most innovative environmental technology at sea."

MSC Seaside not only complies with the highest international standards, she also received from international classification society RINA – in addition to the main class notations – its "Green Star 3 Design" certificate. RINA's Green Star 3 – the latest and most comprehensive edition of the RINA's Green STAR class notations – specifically recognizes that MSC Seaside reaches the greatest levels of eco-compatibility thanks to the relevance of the various innovative measures put in place which help reducing the environmental footprint during operations. These include, amongst others, the exhaust gas cleaning system, the advanced waste water treatment, systems for the prevention of oil discharge from machinery spaces, the ballast water treatment system, and the ship's Environmental Management Plan.

Fleet wide, MSC Cruises' offers guests an enriching cruise vacation inspired by the Company's European heritage. On board, guests are able to meet people from all over the world, while enjoying fine dining options from world-renowned chefs, exclusive world-class entertainment, award-winning activities and facilities for families and children of all ages, luxurious wellness and comfortable accommodations to meet every need. On land, MSC Cruises' guests are then able to discover the hidden treasures of each destination they visit through specially curated tours and one-of-a-kind, immersive experiences designed for each itinerary.

MSC Cruises maintains a foothold as the world's fastest growing cruise line with an ambitious €13.6 billion EUR (˜15.6 billion USD) investment plan in place, which will introduce a total of 17 ships between 2017 and 2027, bringing the fleet total to 29 cruise ships. In addition to continued global expansion, MSC Cruises has placed a priority on increasing its presence in North America. To this end, by the close of 2019 MSC Cruises will have, for the first time, four ships sailing from Miami — MSC Seaside, MSC Meraviglia (arriving to North America for the first time in October 2019), MSC Divina and MSC Armonia.

"As MSC Cruises expands its presence in the North American market, the support of and collaboration with our travel advisors is paramount to our success," said Ken Muskat, EVP and Chief Operating Officer of MSC Cruises USA. "We were extremely pleased to learn that Mr. Bonachea and his family were booked by one of the largest travel agency networks in the U.S., Dream Vacations, a long time dedicated partner of MSC Cruises. We look forward to celebrating this occasion with them."

Raul Bonachea, MSC Cruises' 20 millionth cruiser, his wife and daughter, from Winter Haven, Fla., are currently sailing on board MSC Seaside for a 7-night cruise that departed from Miami on June 29, booked by Dream Vacations. To honor Raul and celebrate this exciting milestone, MSC Cruises upgraded the family to a luxurious MSC Yacht Club suite, offering the family an elevated ship-within-a-ship experience complete with a private restaurant, pool and lounge as well as 24-hour butler and concierge service. And, to toast the occasion with all of the guests on board, MSC Seaside hosted a 20 Millionth Guest Party on Sunday, June 30 in the ship's atrium, the social hub of the ship. The celebration was bubbling with complimentary champagne for all guests, a special officers' parade, an artisan cake and a special performance from one of the ship's most popular shows. The Captain joined the celebrations and toast, offering congratulations and a special gift for MSC Cruises' 20 millionth cruiser.

"MSC Cruises is one of our valued partners and we couldn't be more pleased to learn that our Dream Vacations Travel Agent Myrna Reyes was the booking agent who sold the 20 millionth MSC Cruises customer," said Drew Daly, senior vice president and general manager of Dream Vacations. "We are excited to be part of the celebrations of this historic milestone."

"We are thrilled to have sold the cruise voyage to MSC Cruises' 20 millionth customer," said Myrna Reyes, travel agent with Dream Vacations – Santisteban and Associates in Miami. "Our agency has long been a believer in the MSC Cruises' product. We remain convinced that the MSC Cruises' brand is a spectacular vacation product which offers consumers the most modern and beautiful ships at sea. Our Dream Vacations travel advisors are delighted to be part of this celebration. We remain loyal to the MSC Cruises' brand and look forward to being part of the MSC Cruises' story for the next 20 million consumers and beyond."

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 46.29 + 0.63%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 118.07 + 0.83%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 1.04 + 2.97%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 52.82 + 3.92%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Beginning in March of 1989, Cunard's QE2 was out of service for 72 days. Why was she out of service?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Cunard's Queen Mary 2 has a nightclub named G32. What is the origin of the club's name?

Answer -The s/s Constitution and the s/s Independence were the last two liners built with a counter stern. They were built at Quincy, MA. USA, at the Fore River Shipyard. They entered service for the American Export Line in 1951. They served on the New York-Genoa/Naples route.
courtesy of Larry P Macdonald, Belmont, MA USA


Cruise News - June 24, 2019

Princess Cruises Appoints Senior Officers and Staff for Enchanted Princess
Princess Cruises has announced the leadership team for its newest ship, Enchanted Princess, a year before her debut. Captain Nick Nash and Captain Gennaro Arma will rotate as Captains of Enchanted Princess.

Debuting in Rome (Civatevecchia) on June 19, 2020 for a nine-day Mediterranean cruise, Enchanted Princess will be led by a team of executive officers with extensive maritime experience, including more than 160 years combined service with Princess Cruises. Captain Nash will bring the ship into service from the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy, joined at the launch by Chief Engineer Officer Ignazio Cappelluti, Hotel General Manager Dirk Brand, and Staff Captain Raffaele Di Martino.

Captain Arma will serve together with Chief Engineer Officer Massimiliano Imperiale, Hotel General Manager Richard Harry, and Staff Captain Richard Dalton.

"All of us at Princess Cruises congratulate Captain Nash and Captain Arma on their well-earned appointments as Captains of our new Enchanted Princess. It is an honor and a testament to their dedicated years of service," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. "As we continue to grow our fleet with five new ships arriving by 2025, there are many opportunities for our crew to grow professionally. We believe we have the best crew at sea, who continually offer our guests a safe cruising experience and world-class service."

The 3,660-guest Enchanted Princess shares all of the spectacular style and luxury of its sister ships - Regal Princess, Royal Princess, Majestic Princess and the soon-to-be launched Sky Princess. Guests will discover exquisite, one-of-a-kind dining experiences, more pools and whirlpool hot tubs and world-class entertainment venues hosting dazzling performances. The ship also will feature breathtaking Sky Suites, with expansive views from the largest balconies at sea, which will originally debut on Sky Princess.

In addition, guests can make the most of their vacation time with the Princess MedallionClass experience, featuring the complimentary OceanMedallion wearable device that delivers an entirely new level of service and creates a vacation that is more simple, effortless and personalized.

Enchanted Princess Leadership Team

Captain Nick Nash – Captain Nick Nash has successfully moved through the ranks at Princess Cruises over his 30-year career and currently commands the cruise line's 3,560-passenger Royal Princess. Captain Nash joined Princess Cruises in 1989, was promoted to Staff Captain in 1997 and Captain in 2002 and Fleet Captain in 2014 and 2015. He was appointed President of The Nautical Institute in 2018, pledging to help in its efforts to improve standards of shiphandling, as well as navigation bridge resource management. He was also awarded the United Kingdom's Merchant Navy Medal for meritorious service. Captain Nash is also actively involved in the evolution of Carnival Corporation's simulator training facility in Amsterdam (CSMART).

Captain Gennaro Arma – Captain Gennaro Arma began his career with Princess Cruises in 1998 as a Cadet and moved up the ranks. He achieved his first command as Captain of Sea Princess in 2015 where he navigated the ship on two world cruises. He took the helm of Diamond Princess in 2018. During his time at Princess Cruises, he has been part of newbuild teams for Diamond Princess and Regal Princess. Born in the beautiful peninsula of Sorrento, Italy, Captain Arma has always been passionate about the sea.

Chief Engineer Officer Ignazio Cappelluti – Chief Engineer Officer Ignazio Cappelluti began his career at Princess Cruises in 2003 as an Engine Cadet. He was first appointed acting Chief Engineer Officer onboard Majestic Princess in 2018 and was confirmed Chief Engineer Officer in 2019. He has served aboard many Princess Cruises ships including Grand Princess, Royal Princess, Sapphire Princess, Golden Princess and Coral Princess.

Chief Engineer Officer Massimiliano Imperiale – Chief Engineer Officer Massimiliano Imperiale started his time with Princess Cruises in 1999 as an Engine Cadet. He was first appointed acting Chief Engineer Officer onboard Caribbean Princess in 2013 and was confirmed Chief Engineer Officer in 2017. His vast knowledge of the Princess Cruises fleet includes time serving onboard Ruby Princess, Sapphire Princess, Coral Princess and Island Princess.

Captain Raffaele Di Martino – Raffaele Di Martino started his career at Princess Cruises in 2004, serving as Third Officer onboard Dawn Princess. He was promoted to Staff Captain in 2017, serving most recently on the first MedallionClass vessels – Caribbean Princess and Regal Princess. His career at sea began in the Italian Navy and later onboard cargo vessels, ferries and tug boats. He graduated from the Nautical School of Nino Bixio in Sorrento, Italy.

Staff Captain Richard Dalton – Staff Captain Richard Dalton began his career at Princess Cruises as a Cadet in 2001. He rose through the ranks and was named Staff Captain in 2017. Dalton's call to the sea started at just eight years old, sailing on his father's yacht, and by the age of 18 he had already gained his Yacht Masters. He grew up on the Isle of Bute, a small island on the west coast of Scotland.

Hotel General Manager Dirk Brand – Dirk Brand began his career at sea in 1998 as a Senior Assistant Food and Beverage Director during the inaugural season of Grand Princess. He has overseen all hotel functions for a variety of Princess Cruises ships, including most recently Majestic Princess and Regal Princess. He has also worked aboard the ships of sister company Cunard. Brand was born in Berlin, Germany and grew up in Munich. After completing his education and apprenticeship in hotel management, he served with the Air Force in Sardinia, Italy.

Hotel General Manager Richard Harry - Richard Harry joined Princes Cruises in 1988 as a Front Desk Receptionist. He will soon serve on the newbuild team of Sky Princess when the ship debuts in fall 2019. This will be the sixth time he has been a part of a newbuild team. Harry was born in Farnborough, England and now resides in Bristol.

Celebrity Cruises Celebrity Flora Christened
In a game-changing moment two years in the making, Celebrity Cruises officially launched the revolutionary new Celebrity Flora, a 100-guest, all-suites mega yacht that's poised to connect travelers to the Galapagos Islands like never before. The ship was welcomed to the brand's award-winning fleet with a sustainability-focused ceremony where executives, valued travel advisers and journalists joined the ship's Godmother, environmental advocate and former World Wildlife Fund International President Yolanda Kakabadse, in blessing the ship. In another first, a partnership was announced with EarthEcho International, a nonprofit organization founded by Philippe Cousteau. Jr., to inspire young people to act now for a sustainable future.

The naming ceremony brought together distinguished guests, employees and crew members to commemorate the debut of Celebrity Flora, the first ship of its kind designed specifically for the Galapagos Islands.

"Every once in a while, a unique ship comes along in the industry and changes things, and Celebrity Flora is that ship," said Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. "The Galapagos is a truly unique destination and deserved a ship with sustainability at its core. Today was an incredibly special day, with a very special Godmother."

Fain added: "Yolanda Kakabadse has been a moral force for sustainability, in Ecuador and around the world, and we are honored to have her inspiration as Celebrity Flora sets sail."

"Our guests have never seen a destination quite like the beautiful Galapagos Islands, and the islands have never seen a ship quite like Celebrity Flora, perfectly blending intimate luxury with sustainability," said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. "The ship is designed to showcase this amazing destination, giving our guests incredible memories — and underscoring the critical importance of protecting our planet's fragile ecosystems."

Both Fain and Lutoff-Perlo, as well as Kakabadse, delivered passionate remarks about the ship's sustainability, cutting-edge design, and the brand's commitment to this awe-inspiring region. In a unique nod to these themes, the traditional bottle-breaking was triggered by a ceremonial ribbon-cutting that used a hand-crafted ribbon made from green banana core and crafted by a collective of local female artisans known as Manos Magicas. In addition, the Ecuadorian national anthem was sung by two schoolchildren from Ecuador.

"Being here in the beautiful Galapagos Islands on board Celebrity Flora has reminded me of one of my favorite quotes by Charles Darwin: 'In the long history of humankind those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed,'" said Kakabadse. "Darwin was right; this is the time to collaborate with all sectors of society, and permanently innovate to seek new ways to address development challenges. Tourism can be at the center and Celebrity Flora is at the forefront."

During the event, a partnership was revealed with EarthEcho International. Celebrity and the team at the non-profit will work together to introduce a comprehensive and customized youth strategy, designed to empower a new generation of environmental advocates both in the local communities of the Galapagos, as well as aboard Celebrity Flora and Celebrity Xpedition in the region. The program will include:

• youth focused, environmental sustainability projects in the Galapagos Islands

• activities for youth as part of Celebrity's onboard program

By training, engaging and investing in youth and the local community, Celebrity and EarthEcho International will work to inspire champions for the protection and enhancement of the treasured ecosystems of the Galapagos Islands. Over time, the goal is to explore opportunities to expand this partnership to other regions around the world.

Philippe Cousteau Jr., Co-Founder, EarthEcho International, said: "The launch of Celebrity Flora presents an incredible opportunity for EarthEcho International and Celebrity to jointly develop a meaningful and impactful, initiative that will engage and empower young environmental leaders both onboard and in the communities of the Galapagos Islands."

Lutoff-Perlo added: "We want to leave a destination in a better place than when we found it, and we work with partners who share this mission, so joining with EarthEcho International and Philippe is the perfect partnership for us, especially as we both passionately believe that the next generation is critically important to the future of our planet."

Ceremony guests also enjoyed the chance to take part in a panel on sustainability and the uniqueness of the Galapagos Islands held in the ship's stunning Discovery Lounge. The panel was designed to raise awareness of the unique environmental aspects of the destination and highlight the sustainable firsts exclusive to Celebrity Flora. Host Dr. Ellen Prager, world-renowned marine scientist and regional destination expert, discussed topics with a distinguished panel, including Cousteau Jr; Peter B. Ortner, Research Professor, University of Miami, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science; and Kakabadse.

The most energy-efficient ship of its kind in the region, Celebrity Flora was designed specifically to explore the Galapagos. Celebrity's signature outward-facing design concept gives guests 360-degree views of the islands at virtually every turn. The all-suite luxurious accommodations surround guests with every creature comfort, including service provided by personal attendants. Unique to Celebrity Flora are the first-ever glamping experience at sea in the Galapagos, new dining venues, an open-air stargazing platform, expert-led ecological seminars, and custom-designed Novurania yacht tenders, which create a seamless sea-to-shore experience.

With the launch of their newest ship, Celebrity had the opportunity to blend exploration and research by making Celebrity Flora the first vessel in the Galapagos to be equipped with cutting-edge oceanographic research equipment, known as Oceanscope. The program builds on a more than 20-year relationship with University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science that benefits from a cruise ship's consistent itinerary to create a perfect and cost-effective way for scientists to gather and measure ocean circulation dynamics.

The system will track and map the region while measuring sea-surface temperatures and gathering data critical to research prediction of El Niño and La Niña. All findings gathered by Celebrity Flora will become open source data – globally accessible to research – a first for scientists around the world and anyone with a passion for this information.

Celebrity Flora is also one of the most energy-efficient ships in its class, with a 15-percent reduction of fuel consumption and equivalently fewer air emissions, thanks to the introduction of an advanced propulsion system, hull configuration and specially designed diesel engines. Celebrity Flora's dynamic positioning is a first in the Galapagos. It has anchorless technology, which maintains the ship's position while protecting the sensitive sea floor system, with zero speed stabilizers promising smooth sailing throughout.

Celebrity Flora will have in-room water filtration stations and the ability to reuse air conditioning condensation to provide water to the shipboard laundry facilities. Reverse osmosis equipment will be used, so the ship can process sea water into fresh water to supply 100-percent of her needs. Plus, any materials that can be recycled, reused or donated will be as part of a strict waste management system.

Celebrity Flora will sail from Baltra year-round, making its first sailing on June 30, 2019.

Voyager of the Seas Ups the Ante Down Under With New Wave of Thrills
Adventures in the South Pacific will take on a whole new meaning with the highly anticipated arrival of a bolder-than-ever Voyager of the Seas this summer. Royal Caribbean International has revealed a USD$97 million new look with a lineup of first-to-market features for the region's debut amplified ship. From The Perfect Storm duo of racer waterslides to the reinvigorated Vitality Spa and redesigned kids and teens spaces, Voyager will tout a thrilling combination of experiences that makes for an unforgettable family holiday on this side of the world. Beginning Oct. 21, the newly transformed ship will set sail on a series of 3- to 5-night Southeast Asia itineraries from Singapore, followed by a season down under with 9- to 12-night South Pacific cruises from Sydney, Australia, starting on Nov. 30.

"Royal Caribbean is an innovator in holidays, and the newly amplified Voyager of the Seas is no exception," says Susan Bonner, Managing Director for Royal Caribbean International Australia and New Zealand.

"We are thrilled to welcome Voyager back to Sydney where local holidaymakers can step onboard for a holiday of a lifetime with its new bold adventures and exhilarating features. From pulse-raising adventures down high-speed waterslides on The Perfect Storm or going head to head at Battle for Planet Z laser tag – both firsts for the Australian market – to unwinding and indulging in the brand-new Vitality Spa, Voyager of the Seas offers unforgettable experiences for the whole family to enjoy."

Deck-Defying Thrills
On Voyager of the Seas, holiday-makers can dial up the adventure with newly added Royal Caribbean hits never before seen in the South Pacific.

The Perfect Storm waterslides duo – Typhoon and Cyclone – will raise the stakes with three stories of heart-pumping twists and turns. This is the ultimate ride where guests can challenge their limits and each other in a high-speed race for bragging rights. The can't-miss attraction joins returning favourites, including the FlowRider surf simulator, rock-climbing wall and mini-golf, to round out the ship's action-packed aft.

Family Time Maximised
The cruise line's amped-up holidays also introduce new and reimagined experiences for the whole family to spend time together and on their own while on board.

Making its out-of-this-world debut on Voyager of the Seas, Battle for Planet Z laser tag has quickly become a staple on Royal Caribbean ships. The glow-in-the-dark adventure in Studio B takes place in a universe of the distant future as two groups of thrill seekers – aliens and robots – go head to head to claim the last planet of a far-flung galaxy.

Younger guests, ranging from babies to teens, will enjoy a top-to-bottom redesign of their dedicated spaces. A fresh take on the award-winning Adventure Ocean, for kids of 3 to 12 years old, brings a modern, free-play approach to a new, open layout with whimsical activities at every corner. A first on Voyager, a nursery for babies and tots will open its doors, while 3- to 5-year-olds can dive into the excitement in an area created just for them. Teens are in for an exclusive, updated hangout like no other on board, along with the addition of a laidback outdoor deck.

Relaxation Renewed
Holiday-makers looking to relax and recharge are in for a treat at the Vitality Spa and Fitness Centre. Enhanced and relocated to the aft of the ship, the spa and gym will offer its extensive, signature menu of services, including massages, acupuncture, manicures, fitness classes and personal training. Guests who opt to cool down poolside can look forward to a refreshed Solarium for all-day, adults-only tranquil vibes.

More highlights to make their way to Voyager include 72 new inside and balcony staterooms, a Suite Lounge and outdoor area – exclusively for guests in Grand Suites and above; and the Diamond Lounge for members of Royal Caribbean's Crown & Anchor Society loyalty program. The reimagined ship will also feature the new Royal Caribbean International mobile app. Travellers can soon check in for their cruise holiday from their phone, and once on board, the app will deliver an array of capabilities. From exploring and planning activities for each day of the itinerary, and viewing onboard expenses, to booking and managing dining, shore excursion and show reservations, guests will be able to seamlessly transition into holiday mode. Voyager will be the fourth ship reimagined as part of the Royal Amplified fleet modernisation effort built on research and guest feedback. The cruise line's investment of more than $1 billion spans 10 ships in four years and touches every facet of the guest experience. Introducing a robust variety of bold adventures meant to appeal to every generation, the program is a representation of Royal Caribbean's passion for innovation, relentless attention to detail and commitment to delivering unforgettable holidays.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises Reveals 65 Excursions Exclusive to Seven Seas Splendor
Demonstrating its commitment to offer luxury travelers an unrivaled experience, Regent Seven Seas Cruises today revealed 65 new Mediterranean and Northern Europe shore excursions curated with local tour operators debuting exclusively for guests sailing on the inaugural 2020 season of Seven Seas SplendorTM. The excursions will expand to all Regent ships sailing Europe starting in 2021.

Soar in a helicopter over the gorgeous countryside outside Monaco en route to an unforgettable meal at La Bastide de Moustiers, created by the famed French chef Alain Ducasse, or stay grounded on an electric-bike tour of La Cadiere d'Azur, savoring the bouquets of the many vintages found throughout the vineyards around Toulon, France. Tour the stunning beauty around Sorrento, Italy, and admire Caravaggio's masterpiece, The Seven Works of Mercy, on display at Pious Mount of Mercy Church in Naples, or learn under the tutelage of a master chef in Greenock, Scotland to discover there is much more than just haggis to Scottish cuisine.

"We collaborated with the best local tour operators in the region to curate unique and memorable experiences that will result in a truly unrivaled experience for guests sailing on Seven Seas Splendor's inaugural season," said Jason Montague, president and chief executive officer of Regent Seven Seas Cruises. "Many of these excursions are being offered for the first time by our tour operator partners and are new for luxury travelers. With nearly half of these experiences included in Regent's Free Unlimited Shore Excursions program, our new offerings are one more example of how Seven Seas Splendor will perfect luxury."

Spanning across Croatia, France, Greece, Monaco, Montenegro, Ireland, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom, the excursions offer excitement, deep learning and enriching opportunities, such as:

• MAGNIFICENT VILLAGES OF FONTAINE DE VAUCLUSE AND L'ISLE SUR LA SORGUE.
(France) Explore two charming Provence villages in Marseille, France that revolve around the meandering Sorgue River that connects them. The river's source is a powerful spring in the village of Fontaine de Vaucluse that gushes an abundance of turquoise water through the beautiful Provençal countryside. It's the fastest-flowing water in France. Jacques Cousteau tried to reach the spring's underwater source in the 1940s but the current was so strong he turned back. Guests will see the famed spring and other landmarks in the ancient village, which has long inspired writers and artists. (Included in voyage price)

• ACOUSTIC FLAMENCO AND THE MINES (Spain)
Enjoy a unique tour of a former mine that culminates with an underground flamenco performance of songs that salute the mining industry. The Carthaginians and Romans first mined the area around the village of Parque Minero more than 2,000 years ago. Mining reached its peak in the 19th century, as guests will discover while walking through the vast complex of caves in the Agrupa Vicenta mine. The acoustics below the surface are excellent for flamenco, the soulful instrumental guitar music synonymous with southern Spain. (Included in voyage price)

• A VISIT TO AMBELONAS WINE ESTATE (Greece)
Tour a centuries-old estate in Corfu's fertile interior and sample wines paired with organic delicacies that reflect the owners' passion for preserving traditional methods of production. After departing from the pier, guests enjoy a brief, picturesque drive into the interior of Corfu, a fertile agricultural area that inspired the island's nickname — the Emerald Island. At the Ambelonas estate, guests are welcomed with a cup of herbal tea that is highly regarded for its refreshing, restorative qualities. During the tour that follows, guests walk through the estate's vineyard with one of the owners and learn about the two varieties of grapes that are grown at Ambelonas: red skopelitiko and white kakotrygis. A highlight of the visit to Ambelonas is a tasting of wines thoughtfully paired with delicacies prepared on the estate. (Included in voyage price)

• CARAVAGGIO EXCLUSIVE VISIT AT PIO MONTE.
(Italy) In Naples, marvel at "The Seven Works of Mercy," Caravaggio's exquisite oil painting that depicts seven acts of kindness on a single large canvas, while the curator elaborates on its artistic significance. With Mount Vesuvius looming in the background, guests will then proceed through town to the 100-year-old restaurant, La Bersagliera, a lovely waterfront setting for lunch.

• MUSSEL TASTING TOUR BY SPEED BOAT.
(Montenegro) Cruise through beautiful Boka Bay in Montenegro to the islet Our Lady of the Rocks and then sample freshwater mussels at a farm that grows and harvests them. The leisurely boat ride will be extraordinarily scenic, especially approaching Our Lady of the Rocks, a small, manmade islet created to commemorate the sailors from the town of Perast, which lies directly across the bay. Boka Bay is also known for producing some of Montenegro's finest mussels, and guests will enjoy an insider's look at the process at a commercial mussel farm.

• ELECTRIC-BIKE IN THE VINEYARDS FROM LA CADIERE D'AZUR (France).
Ride an electric bike from the enchanting village of La Cadiere d'Azur in France through the vineyards of the Bandol region to sample a selection of characteristic wines and be served fougasse, a crusty Provençal flat bread whose origins date to Roman times. The electronic bike allows guests to ride farther and negotiate hills with considerably less effort than a traditional bike.

Get Ready To Discover The Natural Beauty Of Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve
With just under four months to go until Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve welcomes its first cruise guests, MSC Cruises — the Swiss-based, world's largest privately-owned cruise line — revealed today more details of the unique experience that awaits visitors. The vision for the island is to immerse guests in the natural beauty of their surroundings in the Bahamas. Ocean Cay is founded on a deep commitment to ecological principles – beliefs that shape everything from how venues are built and how the island is run, to the kinds of activities featured on the island. Work is underway to design opportunities for guests to learn about the protection of the oceans and the importance of preserving coral reefs through dedicated edutainment programs.

The Bahamas is renowned for its beautiful blue waters and white sandy beaches, and its oceans are home to a diverse ecosystem that needs to be safeguarded for a promising future. As part of the development of Ocean Cay, MSC Cruises is working to establish the roadmap for the restoration of marine resources, including habitats and species present in the area. This will include the restoration of endangered corals, and the implementation of other conservation and educational programs.

The island is situated within protected waters spanning 64 square miles, but the ambition is to further extend this parameter to ensure an even greater impact. MSC Cruises' guests will have an incredible opportunity to discover the wonders of the ocean in this special part of the world.

To better understand conservation needs and map out key environmental initiatives, MSC Cruises commissioned a Rapid Ecological Assessment (REA) that provided a short term overview of the waters around Ocean Cay.

MSC Cruises has placed a priority on the restoration of coral in the waters surrounding Ocean Cay. An integral part of the marine ecosystem, coral needs to be protected as they maintain biodiversity, provide a habitat for marine life and protect coastlines. Now that the waters around the island are protected and it is no longer an industrial site once used for sand excavation, the seabed is returning to normal. The hope is that the coral will again begin to thrive. Plans are underway to establish a coral nursery on the East side of the island with the goal of propagating even more coral, particularly the more endangered varieties.

The recent survey established that there are three types of coral that can be found in abundance — primarily Agaricia agaricites known as lettuce coral; Porites astreoides commonly known as mustard hill coral or yellow porites; and Siderastrea also known as massive starlet coral. These species are more capable of withstanding harsh temperature conditions and siltation than other species. Also found around the island during the assessment is the critically endangered Acropora palmata known as Elkhorn Coral. Four distinct colonies of this species were observed along the rocky shoreline of these cays. Over time these corals will become candidates for restoration in the coral nursery.

The Ocean Cay team is already seeing an increase in marine life in the area, and the REA identified 88 different species of fish around the island as well as lobster, sea turtles and rays. An important feature of the ecosystem in this region that was assessed is the queen conch, Lobatus gigas. The conch is a large sea snail and lives in the seagrass beds around Ocean Cay and helps to keep the water clean from algal produced by seagrass. The conch is one of the most important fishery species in these waters and a symbol of The Bahamas. However, conch populations have seen dramatic declines in recent years and some of the few remaining breeding populations are those within marine protected areas in The Bahamas. Ocean Cay is a productive conch habitat, and steps will be taken to ensure the protection of the conch to thrive.

In addition to paving the way for the future of the island's ecosystem, work is well underway to finalize the guest experience and welcome the new guests in November. Every aspect of the island is being developed with the vision of creating a truly memorable experience founded in the core philosophy of the island – the discovery of nature. You can find out more about the restoration of Ocean Cay here.

The environmental philosophy of the Ocean Cay guest experience has influenced the choice of water sports. Guests will not find the typical motorized water sports but instead a range of natural ways to enjoy the ocean. This includes stand up paddle boarding (SUP) and kayaking, allowing guests to take in the uninterrupted horizon by getting out on the water.

For those who wish to discover the marine life close-up there will be the opportunity to book a snorkeling & secluded island getaway. This trip to the nearby cay will allow guests to either snorkel on their own or for an enhanced experience, follow a snorkel guide while they point out all of the colorful and exotic marine life in the area. After snorkeling, guests are then taken to a private beach on the remote cay for swimming and relaxing in the water. Space is limited, so guests should book in advance.

For those who are a little more adventurous, scuba diving will also be available with PADI qualified instructors. Guests just looking to get a taste of diving, can book a Discover Scuba Diving class to try it out in shallow waters with a PADI instructor.

Located at the Northern tip of the island in a stunning location with incredible ocean views is The Spa at Ocean Cay. This unique new luxurious spa concept has been created exclusively for Ocean Cay and is designed to immerse guests in their natural surroundings, providing a contrasting experience to the authentic Balinese MSC Aurea Spa on board MSC Cruises' ships.

The Ocean Cay spa offering will stay true to the environmental principles of the island and the products used will be from AVEDA, a beauty brand known for its natural products and environmental commitments. Guests looking for head to toe pampering can choose from different massage options and then simply relax in the stylish treatment room, listening to the sound of the waves and feeling the ocean breeze. A range of very special on-trend fitness sessions will also be available for those looking to find their inner zen. For instance, guests can choose from morning beach yoga, SUP yoga on paddle boards and sunset yoga.

As a family company, MSC Cruises offers an award-winning family offering on board its fleet, which will extend to Ocean Cay. The island has been designed to offer a family friendly experience with the Seakers Family Cove, a paradise for kids with a shallow lagoon to play in and a beautiful sandy beach for games. All of the beaches on the island will be monitored by lifeguards.

The MSC Cruises Kids Club staff will organize games and activities throughout the day at the Seakers Family Cove. The activities featuring the new DOREMI Explorer mascot are designed to facilitate natural discovery and include childhood games such as sand castle contests, kite building, treasure hunts and a family sporting challenge. There will also be dedicated teens programs including an activity in which teens learn to create content to inspire others with the beauty of the island.

The Seakers Food Court is conveniently located close by for families. Serving American classic dishes and kids' favorites, the buffet will be complimentary for guests. Other dining options available on the island include food trucks and guests can also easily return to the ship throughout the day to take advantage of the full range of dining options on board.

After a day spent unwinding and relaxing, one of the highlights of the visit to Ocean Cay will be the evening entertainment and activities. After a stunning sunset when the night falls, the area around the iconic 98 ft. red and white lighthouse will come to life. Guests will be able to enjoy a breathtaking light show that can be enjoyed from the bar, and those craving a more chilled atmosphere can watch from the beach, sitting around one of the fire pits. A traditional junkanoo parade — inspired by the historic Bahamian festival and consisting of a feast of colorful costumes, music and dancing — will get people in the party mood.

Guests will also be able to appreciate the natural environment in the evening. The remote nature of the island means that guests can enjoy an evening of unbelievable stargazing under the Bahamian sky with an astronomy-themed stargazing experience. Guests will enjoy a welcome drink as the astronomer guide, using state of the art computerized tracking telescopes, finds the most striking star clusters, planets, nebulas and galaxies on display that evening.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 46.00 - 12.01%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 117.10 - 4.18%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 1.01 - 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 50.83 - 4.17%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Name the last pair of ocean liners to be built with an overhanging, counter stern (...such as on the Titanic and many other early twentieth century ocean liners).

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Cunard's Queen Mary 2 has a nightclub named G32. What is the origin of the club's name?

Answer - This was the number that her builders gave her prior to her official naming. QE2 also had the same thing when built, Club 732, her builders number from John Brown Shipbuilders
courtesy of Armand Mantia


Cruise News - June 17, 2019

Keel-Laying Ceremony Held for Carnival's Mardi Gras
In keeping with maritime tradition, a keel-laying ceremony was held today at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Turku, Finland, for Carnival Cruise Line’s Mardi Gras, which is scheduled to enter service in August 2020.

The ceremony, which dates back hundreds of years, was highlighted by the placement of coins on top of a 750-ton keel block called 3C signifying good luck for the ship and the official start of construction.

Carnival’s Senior Vice President of Newbuilds Ben Clement as well as Mardi Gras Captain Giuseppe Giusa, Chief Engineer Ferdinando Ruocco and Hotel Director Pierre Camilleri joined Meyer Turku CEO Jan Meyer at the festivities.

Mardi Gras will be a stunning expression of the Carnival vacation experience offering a variety of groundbreaking innovations, including BOLT, the first roller coaster at sea; the first seagoing restaurant by legendary chef Emeril Lagasse; and six themed zones with a wide range of culinary, beverage and activity choices. Mardi Gras will also be the first cruise ship in North America to be powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), part of Carnival Corporation’s “green cruising” platform.

“This is a historic day for Carnival – the official start of construction of the spectacular Mardi Gras which will usher in an exciting new chapter for our company and introduce so many guest-pleasing innovations,” said Clement.

“We have been very excited to design and now finally to start assembling Mardi Gras. All these different features onboard require a lot of engineering and design expertise which we have been happy to provide to our customer,” CEO of Meyer Turku Jan Meyer states.

Mardi Gras is set to debut in Europe Aug. 31, 2020, then reposition to New York for a series of voyages before shifting to Port Canaveral, Fla., for year-round Caribbean departures.

Carnival Corp. Issues Cuba Statement

Carnival Corporation confirmed on June 5 that due to recent changes in U.S. policy prohibiting cruise ship travel to Cuba, the company’s brands with upcoming scheduled calls there – including Holland America Line, Seabourn and Carnival Cruise Line – will no longer be permitted to sail to Cuba effective immediately.

The company said tht it is working to confirm replacement ports of call. Finalized details will be provided to booked guests and their travel advisors on or before June 15.

The company said tht it regrets that these unexpected changes necessitate altering their published itineraries and look forward to welcoming passengers on board for a memorable Caribbean cruise.

Carnival Cruise Line Reveals More Mardi Gras' Culinary & Beverage Venues
Carnival Cruise Line unveiled several exciting new food and beverage concepts aboard its highly anticipated Mardi Gras, set to debut in 2020, along with further details on the extensive offerings available within the ship's Lido and Summer Landing zones.

The new, only-on-Mardi Gras dining and bar spots in the two themed zones include Street Eats, RedFrog Tiki Bar and The Watering Hole, among many other popular branded outlets and a Big Chicken restaurant by Carnival's Chief Fun Officer Shaquille O'Neal.

These venues – which were previewed at an event yesterday in New York featuring an appearance by O'Neal – can be viewed in a new virtual tour here: https://youtu.be/8g8P5kBMqSs

"Great food and beverage experiences are at the core of any vacation, especially at Carnival. We always strive to provide our guests with the most diverse options possible, but the sheer variety of food and beverage venues on board Mardi Gras is unlike anything we've ever offered before," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "Our culinary and beverage teams continue to innovate, ensuring that we have an array of new and exciting options in addition to longtime Carnival favorites our guests love."

New Food and Beverage Concepts in Lido and Summer Landing Zones

• Street Eats – This open-air eatery will bring the ready-to-eat nature of street food to the seas with three themed kiosks offering fried, steamed and plancha (skillet) delicacies. Representing a variety of global cuisines and located next to Seafood Shack, the quick, grab-and-go venue will offer a daily rotating menu. Small plates like empanadas or falafel will be available at the fried station; bao buns or siu mai at the steam outlet; and kebabs or satay at the plancha venue. And the best part – Street Eats' ever-changing options are free of charge.

• RedFrog Tiki Bar – Designed to transport guests to a South Pacific paradise, the new two-level RedFrog Tiki Bar is a twist on Carnival's popular poolside bar with playful, rum-based cocktails in an island-inspired atmosphere decked out with tiki heads, floral patterns and vibrant colors. Steps away from Guy's Burger Joint, guests can wash down hand-crafted burgers with refreshing cocktails – such as the Polynesian Punch, Red's Rum Runner Jumper and Jungle Bird – creatively presented in pineapples, souvenir tiki glasses and Mai Tai glasses with elaborate garnishes.

• The Watering Hole – Situated within The Patio at Summer Landing, The Watering Hole is modeled after a fun backyard gathering spot and is the perfect space for guests to unwind, grab a cocktail and enjoy sweeping sea views. The bar will boast a wide beer selection including Carnival's own canned and draft brews, as well as refreshing summer-inspired sips like the Watermelon Cooler and Tequila Sunset.

Mardi Gras will also feature the second Big Chicken restaurant at sea created by Carnival Chief Fun Officer and NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O'Neal. Already winning over fans on land at its Las Vegas venue and debuting on Carnival Radiance in 2020, Big Chicken will be located aft on Lido Deck. The all-inclusive breakfast, lunch and dinner menus will also give guests a glimpse into O'Neal's family traditions as all menu items will be developed and taste-tested by the star himself and based on his favorite recipes.

• "Big Chicken is a labor of love featuring all of my favorite fried chicken recipes developed in tandem with my mom," said O'Neal. "Carnival is a great partner, and I am very excited to bring the largest Big Chicken at sea aboard the spectacular new Mardi Gras."

• Additional Dining, Entertainment, Recreation and Relaxation Options

• Mardi Gras takes Carnival's two-deck-high Lido zone to new levels with:

• The largest Guy's Burger Joint in the fleet developed by Food Network personality Guy Fieri, New England-inspired Seafood Shack, Mexican-themed eatery BlueIguana Cantina, and the Lido Marketplace with an extensive array of international favorites;

• Mid-ship Beach Pool and an infinity Aft Tides Pool with a bar, ample seating and sweeping ocean views;

• Exciting entertainment such as legendary deck parties and Dive-in Movies at the Carnival Seaside Theater.

Designed as the ultimate chill spot for fun in the sun, Summer Landing will be home to:

• An expansive outdoor deck area with an infinity pool and two whirlpools;

• A sports bar featuring both indoor and outdoor television screens;

• Hang-out space with cornhole, trivia, arts and crafts, dance classes and more;

• Expanded Guy's Pig & Anchor Smokehouse Brewhouse offering smoked-on-board favorites and an assortment of Carnival's ParchedPig craft beers brewed on site and developed by the line's in-house beverage team, as well as a large stage for live music.

Further details on other Mardi Gras features and themed zones will be announced in the coming months.

Currently under construction at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Turku, Finland, Mardi Gras is slated to enter service in Europe Aug. 31, 2020, before repositioning to New York for a series of voyages then shift to Port Canaveral for year-round seven-day Caribbean cruises beginning in Oct. 2020.

Spectrum Of The Seas To Overnight In Tokyo For Special Sailings In Summer 2020

In true Royal Caribbean International fashion, Spectrum of the Seas will once again raise the bar in the Asian cruise market as the revolutionary ship plans new overnight stays in Tokyo, Japan in summer 2020. Built to deliver great vacation experiences, the first Quantum Ultra Class ship boasts the cruise line’s first private enclave for suite guests, innovative dining concepts, and stunning features and adventures – many of which have never before been seen at sea.

In summer 2020, Spectrum of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas will each sail two special cruises into Tokyo’s brand-new cruise terminal, Shinkyaku Pier, offering guests a once-in-a-lifetime experience to take in the city’s vibrant energy as it comes alive during this exciting time. Spectrum will depart on July 25 and August 2 from Shanghai, China to Tokyo, and Voyager will offer itineraries beginning July 26 out of Hong Kong and August 2 from Tokyo, each staying overnight. Adding to the excitement, Quantum of the Seas will begin sailing from Singapore in 2019, and with both Spectrum and Quantum sailing from Singapore this year, this marks the start of Royal Caribbean’s Double Quantum Year in the region.

“Our ships are designed and created to deliver unforgettable vacation experiences to our guests, and we are proud to be a part of this once-in-a-lifetime experience in Tokyo next summer,” said Bert Hernandez, President, Royal Caribbean China.

Azamara Announces the Largest Selection of Pre- and Post-Voyage Land Programs in the Cruising Industry
Azamara Club Cruises is proud to announce the debut of the largest selection of pre- and post- voyage land programs in the cruise industry. As of today, the destination-focused brand offers a total of over 1,700 land program offerings, which complement the brand's immersive voyages and further enhances its commitment to bringing guests closer to the heart of a destination. The brand's newly expanded destination portfolio, and continuous focus on Destination Immersion, marks Azamara Club Cruises' evolution to Azamara, removing "Club Cruises" from its name and debuting a revitalized logo.

The new name and logo reflect a redefined dedication to the Destination Immersion brand and deepen the brand's renewed focus on cruising and immersive inland experiences. The logo's three main features include: an open world symbol signifying infinite opportunities for world travel, and the brand's commitment to connecting guests to both iconic and off-the-beaten-path destinations; the two artistic strokes represent both land and sea experiences—the left stroke signifies the Earth and the brand's expanded inland explorations, and the right stroke represents the sea and extensive vastness that Azamara crosses; the star in the design is representative of Azamara's namesake "Acamar," which means the brightest star in the southern sky and represents the brand's 'north star'; like a compass that drives balance, direction and dependability.

"Our passion for land has allowed our Destination Immersion programming to evolve over the past 10-years, from 'You'll Love Where We Take You' to 'Stay Longer, Experience More' to now 'Explore Further'; Destination Immersion (Longer Stays, More Overnights and Night Touring) is what makes Azamara unique within the industry," says Larry Pimentel, President and CEO of Azamara. "This is just the beginning, we expect our land programming to grow even more as we continue to augment our services. That said, it was a natural next step to take these custom-designed destination itineraries one step further on land and adjust our overall name and expand our strategy."

Larry Pimentel continues, "Now available on every single voyage starting October 2019, and available throughout future deployments, we will provide a variety of unique curated products, which emphasize our Explore Further identity through benefits such as longer stays, more overnights and night touring. These bucket-list type experiences are all made possible in collaboration with reputable, independent travel experts to show the Azamara traveler "a whole new world."

To ensure travelers receive first-class service delivered by a specialized independent team, Azamara has collaborated with some of the world's most renowned luxury travel companies, including Cox & Kings, which will operate over 75 percent of the land programming. Other renowned luxury travel companies include: Micato, PerryGolf, Aloschi Bros, COLTUR Peru, Furlong Incoming amongst others. Propelling the brand's reputation as "the no cruise, cruise**," these independent travel experts will help expand Azamara's portfolio of Land Programs by providing guests with the opportunity to visit over 41 countries and six continents in the next two-years.

From behind the scenes to exploring with locals, Azamara's new selection of land programming will offer an extensive collection of experiences designed to bring guests deeper into the heart of local life, offering exclusivity and insider access from local guides and experts around the world.

All land packages include:

• Most breakfast and a variety of select authentic meals throughout their journey.

• All transfers to/from voyage, airport, and between land tour cities.

• Tour Directors dedicated to ensuring all details are taken care of and that a guest's trip is stress-free.

• Explorations led by local experts, such as geologists, naturalists, sommeliers, astronomers, wildlife trackers, etc.

The various Land Program options include:

AzAmazing Journeys – Intimate, Once-In-A-Lifetime Experiences:

• Carefully curated programs consist of small, intimate group led by expert guides (average group size of 12-18 guests).

• Once-In-A-Lifetime Experiences that indulges all the senses.

• These experiences last three to six days, with the exception of long train journeys.

• Guests will fully dive into local culture through up-close explanations and interactive experiences with local independent specialists including historians, professors and connoisseurs.

• These journeys feature AzAmazing moments, which are off-the-beaten-path experiences, and accommodations in the world's most breathtaking corners, from five-star hotels and castles to boutique inns, luxury lodges, and glamping experiences.

• Land Journeys – Unique Adventures with Like-Minded Travelers:

• These programs allow guests to see cities from different vantage points, and offers a specialized travel experience that reveals both the hidden gems and iconic landmarks of a variety of captivating destinations.

Land Journeys last anywhere from three to six-nights.

• Offer a wider group size filled with like-minded travel enthusiasts.

• Includes accommodations from four to five-star hotels to boutique inns, luxury lodges and more.

Stay Local – An In-Depth Exploration of One City:

• This programming permits cruisers, who have less time to explore but still want to experience a single destination, the opportunity to immerse themselves in the local life of a

• particular city with a two- or three-night stay in the city.

• These experiences offer an intensive crash-course in the city of embarkation or disembarkation, either pre- or post-cruise.

• Taking guests far beyond typical city highlights and immersing them in local life.

• New cities include: Amsterdam, Netherlands; Auckland, New Zealand; Bordeaux, France; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Cape Town, South Africa; Copenhagen, Denmark; Dubai, United Arab

• Emirates; Dublin, Ireland; Edinburgh, Scotland; Hong Kong, China; Lima, (Callao) Peru; Lisbon, Portugal; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Melbourne, Australia; Monte Carlo, Monaco; Mumbai, India; Nice, France; Oslo, Norway; Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia; Perth (Fremantle), Australia; Rio de Janerio, Brazil; San Antonio (Santiago), Chile; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Southampton (London), England; Stockholm, Sweden; Sydney, Australia.

AzAmazing Journey Highlights Include:

AzAmazing in Asia: In Search of Orangutan in Borneo

• Environmentally and consciously led, set out on a 2.5-hour speedboat journey deep into the jungle where eco-friendly accommodations will be provided. Guests will have the opportunity to see orangutans as they venture into the Borneo Rainforest, which is one of the few places in the world where people are able to see these magnificent creatures. The excursions will be led by local independent naturalists who will introduce travellers to the MariMari people —the area's indigenous people who rarely share encounters with tourists.

AzAmazing in Africa: Micato Safaris – What makes these amazing

• The ultimate safari where guests will experience twice-daily game drives, led by an independent ranger and potentially experience up-close viewing of the Big Five—lions, leopards, African Buffalo, Rhinoceros, African Elephant—at Kruger National Park. Not only will participants have the chance to see the beautiful preserve, they will also visit the South African winelands, river cruise on the Zambezi River, expect hippos and Nile crocodiles; and railway journey to iconic Victoria Falls for an optional helicopter flight for a bird's eye view. Luxury is certain, with stays that range from the Four Seasons to the Kapama River Lodge.

AzAmazing in South America: The Bolivian Salt Flats and Atacama Desert of Chile

• A scarce landscape often compared to "outer space destinations," the Bolivian Salt Flats and Atacama Desert of Chile, are perhaps the most arid locations on earth. Guests will experience "glamping" for two-nights in a deluxe airstream camper set amongst the salt flats, accompanied by the culinary talents of an independent local chef. In Chile, guests will indulge in a luxurious stay at the Atacama Desert Resort, which offers village visits and desert hiking.

AzAmazing in Australia: Rail & Sail Australia – Indian Pacific

• Experience Australia's stunning interior, on a train ride with Indian Pacific, through the country's rugged Blue Mountains. Traveling with the privileges of Platinum Service status—oversized cabins, nearly twice the size of others with ambrosial food and wine pairings exclusive to this service—guests will journey through the footsteps of legendary adventures, goldrush prospectors and bush pioneers. After this luxurious train journey, guests will spend a night in the Margaret River wine country, which produces over 20 percent of Australia's premium wine market.

AzAmazing in Europe: Moscow & Ekaterinburg

• Discover Russia's capital of Moscow, where guests will explore the city's highlights like the Armory at the Kremlin – one of the oldest museums in Moscow that is home to Western European and Eastern applied arts spanning from the 5th and 20th centuries – and locales such as Arbat Street – one of the oldest surviving streets in Moscow – before venturing out to Sergiev Posad to see the Holy Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius and Krasnogorskaya Square. Journey to Yekaterinburg – located Asian side of the boundary between Asia and Europe – by train, offering views of dense forests and wooden villages. A highlight of the program is "The Last Footsteps of the Tsars," which features a unique look at the Romanov family and Russia's tumultuous journey from monarchy to communism and the democracy.

Land Journey Highlights Include:

Land Journey in Europe: Norway En Route

• Starting in Oslo, guests will journey by train to Bergen, Norway's second largest city, across one of Europe's highest mountain plateaus. Making a detour in Myrdal, guests will board the Flåm Railway and experience stunning views of the seven fjords and mountains. Once in Bergen, there will be a ferry that will take individuals to Stavanger, where guests can choose to hike Preikestolen, known as the "pulupit rock," or spend time at the Maritime Museum and the Norwegian Fish Canning Museum.

Land Journey in South America: In Search of Jaguar: Pantanal

• Taking place over the course of two and a half days in Brazil's verdant Pantanal region, guests on the Pantanal Safari will have the chance to spot the area's native jaguars and other exotic creatures such as howler monkeys and black vultures. On the water, nature enthusiasts guided by an expert will delve into the area's diverse wetland biosystem, with boat trips in search of stingray and giant otters.

Land Journey in New Zealand: South Island- Alpine Rail & Mount Cook

• Guests can explore the incomparable, majestic landscape of New Zealand and discover its true beauty by railway and helicopter. Travelers will experience panoramic views of the Southern Alps, shores of the Waimakariri River, and native beech forests while on a 139-mile journey aboard the South Island train, which connects Christchurch and Greymouth. Once "sky high" in the helicopter, travelers will fly above Tasman Glacier, New Zealand's longest glacier, before the helicopter touches down gently on the snow in the heart of Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park, home to the highest mountains in the region.

Panama Canal Looking To Raise Fees for Cruise Ships
The Panama Canal this week published a proposal to modify its current tolls structure for the dry bulk, passenger, containership and vehicle carrier and RoRo segments, as well as tankers, chemical tankers, LPG and LNG vessels, the intra-maritime cluster (local tourism segment) and minimum tolls (small vessels). Friday’s announcement marks the beginning of a 30-day formal consultation period for industry feedback, which will close on July 15, 2019.

“With this proposal, we aim to better serve the global maritime industry,” said Panama Canal Administrator Jorge L. Quijano. “Our proposed modifications will increase transparency and flexibility, among other improvements, to ensure the Panama Canal remains competitive and optimal for the industry today and moving forward.”

For the dry bulk segment, the proposal offers matching the tolls charged to Neopanamax vessels carrying iron ore with the tolls assessed for grains and “other dry bulk” cargoes, as well as a tariff increase for Neopanamax dry bulkers transiting in ballast.

The proposal also aims to add transparency to the tolls structure of the passenger segment by charging based on the maximum passenger capacity that can be carried by each specific passenger vessel. To that end, the Canal is proposing to change the unit of measurement from a “per berth” to a “per passenger” basis, making it easier for cruise lines to transfer transit costs to their customers.

For the containership segment—the main user of Neopanamax Locks—the proposed toll modifications will help retain and incentivize increased cargo volumes through the Panama Canal. Specifically, the proposal offers more attractive rates for customers who benefit from the Panama Canal Loyalty Program by adding new levels with reduced rates in the capacity charge for shipping lines deploying between 2 million to 3 million TEUs, and additional reductions for lines deploying an incremental over 3 million TEUs. The incentive implemented in the last toll modification of fiscal year 2018 for total TEU loaded in the return voyage (TTLR) will remain in effect.

To add further transparency to the toll structure for the Vehicle Carrier and RoRo segment, the proposed modifications include—for the first time—a new tariff category or range precisely designed for Neopanamax vessels to account vessels sizes and capacity. Additional modifications for this segment include slight increments in tolls tariffs for Panamax-sized vessels, as well as minor adjustments based on vessel size ranges.

Toll structures for tankers, chemical tankers, LPG and LNG vessels remain unchanged, but tolls adjustments are proposed to more closely align with the value of the route.

Tolls for small vessels (minimum tolls) and for the local tourism market are being revised upwards to take into account the resources used in the transit and the complexity of accommodating these vessels within the locks’ chambers. The last tariff adjustments for small vessels were implemented in 2012.

Lastly—and based on comments submitted by clients during the 2017 public consultation and hearing process—the Canal proposes to review the rates charged to vessels carrying containers on deck, which do not belong to the container shipping segment, to allow for differentiated charges for containers that are empty, dry or refrigerated.

The complete proposal is available at www.pancanal.com/peajes. All interested parties are invited to participate in the consultation process as well as the public hearing to be held in Panama City, Panama, on July 24, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. (local time). In accordance with established rules, the Panama Canal will consider all correspondence received by 4:15 p.m. (local time) on July 15, 2019, as well as comments and opinions presented during the public hearing.

After a careful evaluation and analysis of the comments received, and once any pertinent changes are incorporated in the proposal, the Cabinet Council of the Republic of Panama will officially approve the modifications. The date for implementation of the modifications to the tolls structure is planned for January 1, 2020.

Holland America Line Celebrates Grand Opening of a 99-Room Addition at McKinley Chalet Resort
Holland America Line held a grand opening ceremony for its new luxury guest accommodations at McKinley Chalet Resort Friday, June 14. Officially dedicating the new Ridge View building that opened for the 2019 Alaska cruise season, the ribbon-cutting celebration was attended by Arnold Donald, Carnival Corporation and plc president and CEO; Stein Kruse, chief executive officer of Holland America Group and Carnival UK; Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line; Charlie Ball; executive vice president, land operations and customer service for Holland America Group, and several other staff members, business partners and community members. Also attending were representatives from Alaska State Senators Lisa Murkowski's and Dan Sullivan's offices and Denali Borough Mayor Clay Walker.

The new 99-room addition features the first-ever junior suites at the McKinley Chalet Resort where guests stay on Holland America Line's award-winning Land+Sea Journeys. Fifty-four of the new rooms are luxurious junior suites with balconies, larger living areas and enhanced amenities including heated bathroom floors and a stunning floor-to-ceiling map of Denali National Park and Reserve.

"Holland America Line is continually enhancing our hotel offerings in Denali, and the latest addition of this incredible new building with junior suites offers our Alaska guests some of the best rooms in Denali with stunning balcony views," said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line's president. "Many of our Alaska cruise guests are seeking premium accommodations and culinary experiences on their land tour just like those on their cruise, so we were thrilled to celebrate the opening of the new Ridge View building at our McKinley Chalet Resort. These new rooms and suites – in addition to the amazing Denali Square we opened a few years ago with dining, shopping, entertainment, fire pits and more – create an authentic and relaxing lodge-resort experience that makes our guests' Alaska trip even more memorable."

The new rooms are an extension of Holland America Line's overland Alaska experience to Denali, which includes the McKinley Chalet Resort hotel and Denali Square, a gathering area to relax, shop, dine and enjoy music and entertainment. The addition is located just west of Denali Square, with views of Mt. Healy and Denali National Park and Preserve.

The new three-story facility, named Ridge View, features junior suites and standard rooms with modern rustic-chic décor. All junior suites have balconies, so guests can enjoy stunning views of the surrounding Alaska wilderness while relaxing on their private deck. The first two floors have central, open-air lobbies with cozy furniture and gas fireplaces. The third floor has open public deck space with tables and loungers so guests can take in the panoramic scenery.

The new rooms are an exciting addition to the McKinley Chalet Resort, Holland America Line's magnificent 68-acre hotel property on the Nenana River. The hotel — featuring guest rooms, dining facilities and extensive walking trails — serves as home base for all adventures in and around Denali National Park, such as the full-day Tundra Wilderness Tour included on most Land+Sea Journeys as well as optional flightseeing, ATV adventures, fly fishing, river rafting right from the hotel property and more. All accommodations feature stylish décor and premium amenities.

Alaska-based companies that worked on the project include general contractor Ghemm Company, Inc., based in Fairbanks. Lead architect Heliotrope is based in Seattle, Washington, and also developed Karstens Public House at Denali Square. Heliotrope worked with the Fairbanks office of Alaskan architectural firm Bettisworth North. Costigan Integrated of Seattle served as project manager.

Steps from the new rooms, Denali Square lies at the heart of Holland America Line's Denali property and is centrally located between the main area of the McKinley Chalet Resort and the riverfront guest rooms.

The largest building in the complex is Karstens Public House, the grand 7,000-square-foot, two-story restaurant showcasing outdoor deck seating and views of the neighboring mountains for dining guests. At the center of Denali Square sits an amphitheater with a covered performance stage and bench seating for guests to enjoy a variety of local shows and ranger talks. Those wanting to quench their thirst or listen to live music can visit Gold Nugget Saloon, home to the Music of Denali Dinner Theater.

Denali Square also features fire pits, outdoor seating, retail shops offering local goods, and an artist-in-residence cabin where Alaska native and local artists display and discuss their works. Walking paths in and around Denali Square show off the property's mountainous landscapes and beautiful setting.

Holland America Line's Land+Sea Journeys combine a three-, four- or seven-day Inside Passage or Glacier Discovery cruise with in-depth overland tours to the Yukon and Alaska's interior.

Holland America Line is the only cruise company to combine must-see sites such as Denali National Park and Preserve — the centerpiece of every Land+Sea Journey — with rare ones such as Dawson City, in the heart of the Klondike Gold Rush Country. Offering up to three days at Denali for wildlife viewing and spectacular scenery, Land+Sea Journeys are designed to highlight the best of Alaska's wilderness, wildlife, native culture and history.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 52.28 - 1.69%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 122.21 - 1.00%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 1.01 - 1.94%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 53.04 - 1.47%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Cunard's Queen Mary 2 has a nightclub named G32. What is the origin of the club's name?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Cunard's Queen Mary 2 has a nightclub named G32. What is the origin of the club's name?

Answer - This was the number that her builders gave her prior to her official naming. QE2 also had the same thing when built, Club 732, her builders number from John Brown Shipbuilders
courtesy of Armand Mantia


Cruise News - June 10, 2019

Royal Caribbean Comments On Cuba Travel Policy Change
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd today noted the U.S. government's policy change on travel to Cuba and provided a range for its financial impact.

On June 4, 2019, the U.S. government announced that effective June 5th, 2019 authorized travel to Cuba under the People-to-People program is rescinded and travel to Cuba via cruise ships is prohibited. Therefore, effective June 5th, cruise ships will no longer be allowed to travel between the U.S. and Cuba.

The company has changed the itineraries for its June 5th and June 6th departures and is determining alternate destinations for future sailings. The company's primary concern is for its guests, and the company is working closely with them to offer alternative destinations and compensation for any inconvenience.

The company estimates that the financial impact of this regulatory change is a reduction to the Adjusted EPS for 2019 in the range of $0.25 to $0.35 per share.

"While the affected sailings impact only 3 percent of our 2019 capacity, the extremely short notice period for this high yielding destination amplifies the earnings impact," said Jason T. Liberty, executive vice president and CFO. "The result of this policy change has created a short-term impact to our guests, operations and earnings; fortunately, we have many alternative and attractive destinations for our guests to choose from."

MSC Meraviglia's First Sailings From North America to Explore Eastern Canada and New England
MSC Cruises' first Meraviglia Class ship launched in June 2017 — hits North American soil for the first time this October, with her debut sailings from the region embarking from Manhattan to explore the best of eastern Canada and New England. Not only will MSC Cruises guests be able to discover two brand new, select itineraries, but also welcome the stunning ship to North America before she makes her way to her new homeport in Miami.

MSC Meraviglia's two itineraries from Manhattan to New England and Canada will embark on October 8 and 18.

• October 8, 2019: 10-night sailing visiting Canadian ports of call including Sydney, Nova Scotia; Corner Brook, Newfoundland; Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island; and Québec City, Quebec for an overnight stay. Prices start at $1,229 per person for a balcony stateroom.

• October 18, 2019: 10-night sailing visiting New England and Canadian ports of call including Bar Harbor, Maine; St. John, New Brunswick; Halifax, Nova Scotia; Sydney, Nova Scotia; Portland, Maine; and Boston, Massachusetts. Prices start at $1,169 per person for a balcony stateroom.

IDYLLIC CANADIAN DESTINATIONS

Guests sailing on board both the October 8th and 18th sailings will visit several highlights of eastern Canada through Nova Scotia, Quebec, Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island. Cruisers will take in the natural beauty of these Canadian hotspots right as the leaves turn to their magnificent fall colors. Destinations and shore excursion opportunities include:

Sydney, Nova Scotia: As the gateway to Cape Breton Island, the area is known for the beautiful natural scenery as well as its rich Gaelic culture. Cruisers can explore the area through the eyes of Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone, by visiting his former home and museum. Or, guests can sail across the Great Bras d'Or, the world's deepest channel, learn about the area's strong Scottish culture and spot local wildlife.

Corner Brook, Newfoundland: The city is surrounded by some of the most beautiful wilderness in the world, along with spectacular ocean and mountain views. Visitors can walk along the Corner Brook stream through rolling boreal landscapes and follow in the footsteps of 18th century Captain James Cook. For an appetizing experience, savor local flavors of locally caught, fresh fish while learning about the native cultures that shaped Newfoundland.

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island: As the capital of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown is a city with a vibrant history, including a magical connection to the literary classic, Anne of Green Gables. Visitors can opt for a drive along the southern shore and admire the rolling landscape, enjoy a mouthwatering lobster lunch, or take in the history on a horse-drawn trolley.

Québec City, Quebec: As a UNESCO World Heritage site, Québec City draws visitors worldwide to its innate charm. In Old Québec, guests will discover a world seemingly taken from a European painting. The streets lined 17th- and 18th-century buildings are riddled with bakers, bistros and boutiques, with breaks of cobbled squares filled with cafe tables. Cruisers can also journey to the countryside for quintessential tea with scenic views and a stop by the majestic Montmorency Falls for a photo. Those looking for adventure can even take an 8-mile bike ride to the falls, passing the Québec Yacht Harbor, crossing the Saint Charles River, and more.

St. John, New Brunswick: There is plenty to explore in one of Canada's oldest incorporated cities, including a unique phenomenon called the Reversing Falls, a set of rapids where the water of the Saint John River flows backwards when the adjacent Bay of Fundy is at high tide. Guests can also stroll through the Old City Market, Canada's oldest farmer's market and the ultimate foodie haven, or learn the art of landscape photography along the shore of the Bay of Fundy.

Halifax, Nova Scotia: Nova Scotia's picturesque capital is a bustling business center with a flourishing public garden and waterfront boardwalk. Visitors can enjoy easy access hot spots like Peggy's Cove, a small rural community located on the eastern shore of St. Margarets Bay, and Cape Breton Island. MSC Cruises guests can immerse themselves in the area's history, Victorian-era landscaping and tales of 18th century pirates. Guests can also visit Old Town Lunenburg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and see the area's distinctive architecture and craft stores, or join a local pub tour in true maritime tradition.

CHARMING NEW ENGLAND PORTS OF CALL

MSC Meraviglia's itineraries from Manhattan will also stop in several New England hotspots along the east coast of the U.S. Cruisers will enjoy the charm and vibrant city centers of these coastal towns, while dining on New England favorites.

Bar Harbor, Maine: As the gateway to Acadia National Park, one of America's most visited national parks, Bar Harbor is a charming seashore town with a mountainous landscape, lined with sea-facing cliffs and crashing ocean waves. Cruisers can delight in one of the area's delicacies, Maine lobster, for a special tasting, or take in the Victorian-style cottages in the quaint town. With several tours of Acadia National Park, guests have plenty of opportunity to see the local wildlife and incredible natural landscape.

Portland, Maine: With fishing wharves and converted warehouses full of restaurants and shops, the charming waterfront town is one of New England's bucket list destinations. Cruise guests will have plenty to do, including a guided tour of the area with a boat trip and lunch, a dedicated foodie walking tour to experience the area's down-home cooking, a drive through the area's most famous lighthouses, and more. Guests can even board a lobster boat and sail off to Casco Bay to learn about the famous Maine lobster.

Boston, Massachusetts: The buzzing city and capital of Massachusetts is one of the oldest cities in the U.S. Guests can learn about the area's history and role in the founding of the U.S. by land or sea. Cruise guest can embark on a harbor cruise, sailing past key landmarks. Drive through Boston's cityscape, with highlights like Copley Square and the Old South Meeting House, where the Boston Tea Party began. Those looking to venture out of the city can opt for a tour of Cape Cod, where the Atlantic Ocean meets a shoreline dotted with cottages, sailboats and quaint fishing villages.

After MSC Meraviglia's two round-trip sailings from New York, she will take a 13-night journey through the Caribbean to her new homeport in Miami. Embarking from Manhattan on October 28, 2019, the ship will visit Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Fort de France, Martinique; Bridgetown, Barbados; Saint George, Grenada; Willemstad, Curaçao; Oranjestad, Aruba; and Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, MSC Cruises' private island destination opening in November 2019.

Seabourn Unveils Veranda, Panoramic Veranda, And Penthouse Suites On New Expedition Ships
Seabourn is giving travelers yet another look at more stunningly designed guest suites on its two new purpose-built expedition ships set to launch in June 2021 and May 2022, respectively. The Veranda, Panoramic Veranda, and Penthouse suite categories are masterfully designed spaces by Adam D. Tihany, that will provide beautiful, relaxing accommodations on Seabourn Venture and her soon-to-be-named sister ship.

The entire all-suite collection on the two ships is defined by comfortable, thoughtfully crafted bespoke furniture, enticing tactile materials and unique details that capture timeless luxury travel in a contemporary and engaging environment designed to elevate every aspect of the Seabourn expedition experience.

"All of our spacious suites provide the expedition traveler with equal parts of adventure together with the best in luxury accommodation and service," said Richard Meadows, president of Seabourn. "Seabourn's suites are created to invite guests to linger longer as we take them to diverse and remote locales around the world."

Elegant design elements such as parchment texture inspired wall panels and curvilinear arches reflect bygone maritime craftsmanship. Custom bedside panels recall luxury travel from another era yet are decidedly current with toggle switches, an analog clock and a fold away reading lamp, perfect for curling up with a custom Seabourn blanket. Guests are drawn into the space with organic shapes, materials like wood and stone, and intricately textured fabrics. Spacious bathrooms with separate shower and bathtub feature luxurious fittings. The ship's art collection, curated to reflect that of a seasoned explorer, will extend beyond public areas into the ship's all ocean front with private veranda suites as well.

Each suite will also have a built-in heated jacket wardrobe, where guests can grab a warm coat before heading out on a cool morning or hang their wet outdoor parkas and other gear to dry quickly once they return from adventures off the ship.

Specific details on each of the suite categories revealed include:

Veranda Suite: The most plentiful suite category found on Seabourn ships, the veranda suite has all the luxuries for guests to make this their home away from home. Veranda suites include a separate seating area with a coffee/dining table for two, which is ideal for in-suite dining at any time of day. A queen-sized or two twin beds, spacious walk-in closet with ample room for a traveler's wardrobe, and sliding glass door leading to a private furnished veranda round out the accommodations.

Total space: 355 sq. ft. (33 sq. m.) including veranda of 78 sq. ft. (7 sq. m.)*

Veranda Spa Suite: These two suites, located on Deck 7, feature the same amenities as the Veranda Suite and include additional in-suite spa amenities and spa concierge service available in conjunction with Spa & Wellness with Dr. Andrew Weil, including a selection of blossoming teas and fresh juices, perfect for guests who enjoy healthy doses of relaxation and rejuvenation.

Total space: 355 sq. ft. (33 sq. m.) including veranda of 78 sq. ft. (7 sq. m.)

Panoramic Veranda Suite: A new for Seabourn suite category featuring a semi-circular living area with comfortable seating and expansive floor-to-ceiling windows providing guests a spectacular perspective of the world outside including sweeping views from their suite. A queen-sized bed or twin beds are also oriented to face the windows, allowing guests to enjoy views of beautiful scenery and gorgeous sunrises and sunsets.

The bathroom features a separate shower and large soaking tub placed next to a window, providing relaxing views to the private furnished veranda and scenic outdoor landscapes.

Total space: 417 sq. ft. (39 sq. m.) including veranda of 85 sq. ft. (8 sq. m.)

Penthouse Suite: Each of the Penthouse Suites, located on Deck 8, affords a sophisticated environment that includes a living area with dining table for two to enjoy in-suite dining at any time of day, high-definition TV, large windows that bring in plenty of natural light, a sliding glass door to the private furnished veranda, and makeup vanity. A separate bedroom that can be closed off from the rest of the suite has its own high-definition TV and is adjacent to a marble-lined bathroom with separate shower and bathtub. Penthouse Suites also come with a convenient Nespresso machine with a variety of coffee choices.

Total space: 529 (49 sq. m.) including veranda of 96. (9 sq. m.)

Penthouse Spa Suite: The Penthouse Spa suite, located on Deck 7, is the accommodation of choice for the traveler who would like to stay near the onboard spa & wellness facilities. This suite features the same amenities as the Penthouse Suite along with added in-suite spa amenities in conjunction with Spa & Wellness with Dr. Andrew Weil for the guest with wellness in mind, including a selection of blossoming teas and fresh juices.

Total space: 637 sq. ft. (59 sq. m.) including veranda of 205 sq. ft. (19 sq. m.)

*Some veranda sizes vary.

Guests with disabilities will also find handicapped-accessible suites available in both the Penthouse and Veranda categories.

The suites feature several pieces from the custom furniture collection created for the expedition ships by Tihany's product design arm and developed by a leading European furniture manufacturer. The collection is highlighted by crafted details such as wood frames, exposed rivet details and bronze inlays.

For this latest project with Seabourn, Tihany will develop the design vision for public areas and all categories of luxurious guest suites, as well as a bespoke furniture collection. Additional renderings of these spaces can be found in the link here.

All suites on Seabourn Venture and her sister ship will include:

• A personal suite stewardess to ensure everything in your suite is always as you wish

• Private, ocean-front furnished verandas

• Twin or queen-sized bed with a luxurious custom-built mattress, fine cotton linens, fluffy all-season duvet and a choice of firm or soft pillows

• Ample storage and walk-in closets with plush terry robes, slippers and a personal safe

• An in-suite bar with a selection of beverages and requested complimentary wines or spirits

• Interactive entertainment with broadcast TV and hundreds of movie and music choices

• A bath with a full tub, separate shower and luxury products featuring an exclusive signature scent created for Seabourn by Molton Brown, London

• Complimentary PressReader app bringing favorite newspapers and magazines to your phone or tablet

• Unique to Seabourn Venture, Swarovski binoculars for guests to use during the voyage, widely regarded as some of the world's best by expedition travelers, naturalists, and wildlife spotters.

Seven Holland America Line Ships Set to Transit the Panama Canal in 2019-20
It has long been considered one of engineering's most incredible feats, and travelers looking to check a Panama Canal cruise off their bucket list will have 32 Holland America Line sailings to choose from between September 2019 and May 2020. Seven ships will offer 16 unique itineraries, including full transits ranging from 14 to 23 days, as well as 10- and 11-day partial transits that also include southern Caribbean cruising.

While the Panama Canal transit is the centerpiece of the voyage, guests also have the opportunity to explore noteworthy ports throughout the Mexican Riviera, Central America and the beautiful Caribbean. Depending on the itinerary, guests can visit the lush rain forests of Costa Rica's Puerto Caldera; indulge in some leisurely beach combing on warm, sunny Aruba; discover ancient Maya artifacts in Puerto Corinto's archaeological museum; or marvel at the great Maya stone temples of Tikal from Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala.

"Transiting the Panama Canal deeply resonates with any explorer because of the sheer magnitude and power of the experience, and we offer travelers a variety of itinerary choices with a robust season across seven premium ships," said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. "The sensation of being raised and lowered through the Canal's legendary locks is inspiring, and whether our guests do it on a full transit from ocean to ocean or a partial through Gatún, it really is one of the world's greatest modern wonders."

Witness Two Oceans in One Cruise on a Full Panama Canal Transit
From September 2019 through May 2020, Amsterdam, Eurodam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Oosterdam, Rotterdam and Volendam will make 16 transits between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans from three departure cities. Guests can conveniently sail to or from Fort Lauderdale, Florida; San Diego, California; or Vancouver, British Columbia.

Each itinerary includes a diverse collection of ports along with the exploration of the Panama Canal. On full transits, guests will visit cities in Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua and islands in the Caribbean. In addition, some of the sailings include a visit to Half Moon Cay, Holland America Line's award-winning private island in the Bahamas known for its pristine beaches, engaging family activities, exciting shore excursions and exclusive beach cabanas.

Explore the Caribbean and Central America on a Partial Transit
In addition to the full transits, Zuiderdam and Eurodam will make 16 partial transits between October 2019 and April 2020. Conveniently cruising roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, the 10- and 11-day Panama Canal Sunfarer itineraries include an exploration of the Canal's Gatún Lake with a combination of southern Caribbean calls in Aruba, Curaçao, Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama and Half Moon Cay.

Panama Canal Comes to Life with Explorations Central Immersive Travel
Throughout the cruises, EXC programming brings the region's local traditions, culinary tastes and cultural experiences to life on board. Guests who want to learn more about the region can attend an EXC Talk or head to an EXC Port to Table cooking demonstration or wine pairing event. The Dining Room and Lido Market also will showcase the flavors of the region.

During the transit, a local expert is on board providing commentary on the history and building of the Canal. For an up-close view, Holland America Line's spacious open bow observation area gives guests a great platform to watch all the action of a Panama Canal transit, from workers on shore to the electric mules to our hard-at-work crew members.

Panama Canal cruises feature a diverse selection of Shore EXCursions that allow guests to immersively experience each port of call. Tours focus on culture, history, nature, architecture, adventure, culinary topics and family outings. Exclusive culinary-themed Shore EXCursions in partnership with FOOD & WINE magazine showcase the regions' food scenes from a local perspective.

Disney Cruise Line Announces Fall 2020 Itineraries with Holiday Sailings
In fall 2020, Disney Cruise Line will enchant guests of all ages with Halloween and winter holiday celebrations on sailings departing from New York, California, Texas and Florida. The 2020 fall season offers a range of itineraries that will visit a variety of tropical locales, with most sailings featuring that extra-special Disney holiday sparkle.

Halloween on the High Seas returns to Disney Cruise Line in September and October 2020 with spooky good times for the entire family. On select sailings across the fleet, guests are treated to a "mouse-querade" costume party, lively entertainment, ghoulish food and beverage delights, trick-or-treating, seasonal kids' activities, a villainous party just for adults and a ghostly ship takeover with elaborate décor and a magical pumpkin tree.

From early November through December, the Disney Cruise Line fleet is decked from bow-to-stern with holiday cheer and entertainment during Very Merrytime Cruises. Holiday adventures are unwrapped for the whole family with merry parties, a tree lighting ceremony, festive activities, special food and beverage surprises, favorite characters in their finest holiday attire, a winter wonderland ball with Santa and Mrs. Claus, and a flurry of "Frozen" snowfall.

Bookings open to the public June 13, 2019. More details on 2020 itineraries can be found on the Ports and Itineraries for 2020 page of disneycruise.com.

Sailings to Bermuda and Canada from New York

The Disney Magic returns to New York in October for sailings to Bermuda and Canada, all featuring Halloween on the High Seas. Three five-night cruises offer two days in Bermuda, giving guests extra time to indulge in the island's famous pink-sand beaches, abundant water activities, stylish shopping and distinctive blend of British and Caribbean culture.

One five-night cruise will visit Canada's charming seaport cities including Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada's oldest incorporated city, which is home to outdoor activities and an impressive natural phenomenon called the "reversing falls rapids." Guests on this sailing will also visit Halifax, the provincial capital of Nova Scotia. Rich in maritime history, Nova Scotia boasts Victorian-style public gardens and one of the world's largest natural harbors.

Baja and Mexican Riviera Voyages from California

The Disney Wonder sets sail from San Diego in September, with Halloween on the High Seas cruises to Baja and the Mexican Riviera. Baja itineraries of two, three, four and five nights highlight the region's famous beaches and water activities with calls on Cabo San Lucas and Ensenada, Mexico. One seven-night Mexican Riviera cruise, with additional stops in Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta, completes the southern California sailings. On Nov. 6, the Disney Wonder departs San Diego for a 14-night Panama Canal crossing.

Bahamas and Caribbean Cruises from Texas

From late November through December, the Disney Wonder will make Galveston, Texas, its homeport for Very Merrytime Cruises to the Caribbean and Bahamas, with four-, five-, six- and seven-night sailings. Caribbean itineraries include stops in Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico and Grand Cayman. Bahamian cruises feature stops at Nassau, Bahamas and Key West, Florida, as well as Disney's private island Castaway Cay.

Tropical Island Vacations from Florida

In fall 2020, the Disney Fantasy and Disney Dream will sail to the Bahamas and Caribbean from Port Canaveral, Florida. Halloween on the High Seas and Very Merrytime Cruises will delight guests on most sailings.

The Disney Fantasy will sail Caribbean and Bahamian itineraries ranging from three to eight nights, and the Disney Dream will sail three- and four-night Bahamian cruises to Nassau, Bahamas and Castaway Cay. Each of these cruises includes a day of fun in the sun on Castaway Cay, Disney's private island, reserved exclusively for Disney Cruise Line guests.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 53.18 + 4.03%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 123.44 + 2.27%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 1.03 + 10.75%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 53.83 - 0.87%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Cunard's Queen Mary 2 has a nightclub named G32. What is the origin of the club's name?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
How many liners has Cunard named after Queens and what were the names?

Answer - Cunard has had 5 "QUEENS"--Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth, Berengaria and Queen Victoria--named after British Queens. QE2 was named after the Queen Elizabeth and QM2 was named after the 1st Queen Mary. The new Queen Elizabeth is the 5th Queen named after a "real" Queen.
courtesy of Thomas Mousse, Italy


Cruise News - June 3, 2019

Spectrum of the Seas Celebrates Inaugural Season in China
Spectrum of the Seas, Royal Caribbean International's newest ship, made its highly anticipated debut in China today. The first Quantum Ultra Class ship sailed into Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal in Shanghai after completing a 46-night Global Odyssey that spanned 17 cities. In honor of Spectrum arriving to her new home, the cruise line held a grand naming ceremony with Chinese celebrities and Royal Caribbean brand ambassadors, Xiaoming Huang and Angelababy, in attendance. Honored with the lifetime role of Godparents, the popular couple were on hand to name the ship and bestow a blessing of safekeeping over all those who sail on her.

Spectrum's historic milestone is on the heels of Royal Caribbean's 10th anniversary in China. Building on years of success with Quantum and Ovation of the Seas, the arrival of the largest and most expensive cruise ship in Asia will continue to raise the bar and lead the Chinese cruise industry into a new era.

"Royal Caribbean has always been known for innovating and pushing the boundaries and Spectrum of the Seas is a great example of this," said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. "Spectrum brings to life the best of Royal Caribbean along with specifically designed and curated experiences for our Chinese consumers."

Custom built for the Chinese market, Spectrum of the Seas features bold and unexpected experiences, including the cruise line's first private enclave for suite guests, new stateroom categories, innovative dining concepts, and stunning features and experiences – many of which have never before been seen at sea.

Spectrum features a two-level, 2,809-square-foot Ultimate Family Suite, accommodating up to 11 guests. The three-bedroom suite features a master bedroom and a bathroom that extends over the side of the ship for unparalleled ocean views, along with two additional suites for grandparents and other family members. Kids have their own kid-friendly space on the upper level, complete with an in-suite slide that will transport them to the living area below. Everyone in the family can enjoy time together in the recreation room, featuring surround-sound equipment for a night of karaoke, movies or video games.

Glowing on the aft of the ship is Sky Pad, a virtual reality (VR), bungee trampoline experience, where guests can strap in, don a VR headset and be transported to another time and planet with three new games: Jump Rally, Sugar Leap and Bass Bouncer. The out-of-this-world experience is for guests of all ages and can be enjoyed without headsets, for those who prefer to look out over the ocean as they leap toward the sky.

The Suite Club on decks 13 through 16 offers Royal Caribbean's first exclusive suites-only area, which features 36 Golden Suites and 106 Silver Suites. The Golden Suites and Silver Suites have exclusive access, elevator, as well as a private restaurant and lounge. In addition to a range of amenities, Gold Suite guests may access The Balcony, a private outdoor space with the best views of the sea; and The Boutique, which can be reserved for private shopping, intimate parties and wine tastings. Travelers in suites are also provided with a dedicated team of Royal Concierges who provide excellent value-added services, including concierge services, Royal embarkation, enhanced food and beverage experiences, and exclusive room service.

On board Royal Caribbean's newest ship are 33 dining options to meet the diverse preferences of its guests. The lineup includes innovative dining concepts such as: Sichuan Red, a brand-new restaurant debuting on Spectrum that features authentic cuisine from the Sichuan province of China; a traditional tea room and café parlor known as Leaf and Bean, where guests can enjoy a range of authentic Chinese teas, classic coffee drinks as well as freshly baked Chinese and Western desserts and pastries; Teppanyaki, offering authentic oriental flavors cooked in Japan's traditional teppanyaki style; Splashaway Café, near the kids' pool area; and the Noodle Bar, which serves up freshly made noodles and live chef demonstrations.

Introduced on the Quantum Ultra Class, the main dining room has been combined into one awe-inspiring, three-level dining room with 1,844 seats. The complimentary venue also serves a variety of Chinese and Western a la carte options that rotate every day of an itinerary. Vacationers looking for a more casual dining venue, the Windjammer Marketplace on Spectrum has been designed to be 20% larger than those on Quantum Class ships. The laidback option offers a wide selection of Chinese and Western dishes.

Three new production shows developed in-house by Royal Caribbean – The Silk Road, The Effectors, and Showgirl! Past. Present. Future. are taking the stage. Each full-scale production features unrivaled talent, immersive technology and unparalleled special effects to create spectacular entertainment experiences. The entertainment doesn't end on stage. Spectrum offers guests a thrilling lineup of activities including Battle for Planet Z, an epic glow-in-the-dark laser tag adventure for the whole family; Star Moment, a lively and energetic karaoke venue where family and friends can sing like stars; Expedition Two70, where guests can test their adventuring skills in four fully immersive augmented reality (AR) games; SeaPlex, the multipurpose indoor sports and entertainment complex that offers activities from various parts of the world including various indoor ball games as well as fencing and archery – activities never before seen at sea in the Asia market.

Spectrum of the Seas features a bold lineup of new digital experiences, from digital room keys and automated stateroom controls, to immersive AR games. The Royal Caribbean mobile app is also available for the first time for guests in China and supports both Mandarin and English language. Designed to seamlessly deliver unprecedented vacation experiences at sea, technology is prevalent throughout the ship, substantially increasing guest convenience and efficiency while offering new experiences that entertain and amaze.

Celebrity Equinox Is First Solstice Class Ship To Be Transformed By The Celebrity Revolution
The newly modernized Celebrity Equinox is officially ready to revolutionize the way travelers experience the beautiful blue waters of the Caribbean. The dramatic transformation — part of THE CELEBRITY REVOLUTION — makes Celebrity Equinox the third ship to be “revolutionized” as part of Celebrity Cruises’ $500 million investment in ship-wide upgrades and breath-taking reimagined spaces, taking the brand’s fleet to the Edge.

“Celebrity Equinox holds a very special place in the hearts of everyone at Celebrity Cruises, and also for our guests; this one-of-a-kind ship continues to be the most awarded in our entire fleet,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. “Now, emerging from her dramatic modernization, our guests are going to love the new, ‘revolutionized’ Celebrity Equinox even more. There is no better way to experience the Caribbean year-round than on board this stunning ship.”

On the transformed Celebrity Equinox, Caribbean cruisers will enjoy enhancements that include:

• The addition of The Retreat for suite guests, including The Retreat Sundeck, an exclusive sun-soaked hideaway, and The Retreat Lounge (formerly Michael’s Club)

• The awe-inspiring Qsine (formerly Silk Harvest) will feature both the brand-exclusive Le Petit ChefTM and Friends and the original Le Petit ChefTM, two amazing dining experiences developed in partnership with TableMationTM and SkullmappingTM that bring the tabletop to life using innovative 4k technology

• A completely reimagined Passport Bar, perfect for mixing and mingling before and after dinner

• An exciting new creation, Craft Social (formerly Gastrobar), a casual spot featuring more than 40 craft beers, wine and cocktails on tap, mouthwatering comfort food favorites, flat-screen TVs, and inviting leather seating

• Refreshed staterooms and suites ship-wide with stunning enhancements designed with guest comfort in mind, now all featuring Celebrity’s exclusive eXhale bedding collection with luxurious king-sized Cashmere mattresses

• The launch of an exciting new partnership with the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science, featuring S.T.E.M.-focused activations and unique, first-at-sea programming offered as part of the popular Camp at Sea for young cruisers

• The interactive programming focuses on two science topics – one on the identification of and solutions related to microplastics and another on the importance and diversity of plankton to the Earth’s oceans and the environment

• Impressive digital enhancements across the ship, such as the addition of RFID lock technology and pervasive Xcelerate Wi-Fi

• Guests will also now be able to experience the brand’s industry-first facial recognition technology with the implementation of the Celebrity Cruises app, which enables smooth port arrival and expedited boarding, plus additional features including guest-to-guest chat and digital room keys

• Unique new treatments and products offered at The Spa by Canyon Ranch, including three new Signature Couples’ treatments, Dyson Supersonic blow-outs at the Canyon Ranch Blow-Out Bar, Mink and Rapid Lash services, and new customized facials by Reveal Machine, among others

• World-class retail offerings, including John Hardy Boutique, Kate Spade, and a new watch boutique featuring Shinola, Hublot and other Swiss watch brands

Celebrity Equinox’s bow-to-stern modernization began on May 4, 2019, in Cadiz, Spain. There, the ship spent a total of 29 days in the skilled hands of more than 500 engineers, architects, artisans, designers, contractors, shipyard employees, and the newbuild and Celebrity teams.

Celebrity Equinox is just the third revitalization for the brand. Celebrity Silhouette is next, scheduled for completion on January 31, 2020, with five more ships to be modernized by 2023.

Silversea Celebrates Silver Jubilee In 2019
Silversea Cruises passes a momentous milestone in 2019. Since first setting sail in 1994, Silversea has unlocked the authentic beauty of the world for almost half a million guests on approximately 4,100 voyages. Silversea's ships have completed an accumulated total of over 47,800 cruise days, while the cruise line's guests have travelled deeper on a combined total of more than 9.4 million cruise days.

Bringing innovation to the cruise industry with a truly pioneering concept, Silversea was the world's first all-inclusive ultra-luxury cruise line when it launched in 1994. Purpose-built Silver Cloud – the cruise line's first ship, which was unique insomuch as almost all suites included a personal balcony – was christened in Monaco on May 30, 1994, in the presence of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco. Since then, Silversea's guests have travelled to the world's most remarkable destinations in unparalleled comfort, enjoying personalised service and an intimate atmosphere on board. Many aspects of the cruise line have evolved in the past 25 years, but these core principles have remained and today make a Silversea cruise unique.

When Silversea was founded by the Lefebvre family 25 years ago, the vision was to launch a cruise line that had a truly global reach, in the sense that guests from across the globe would discover the world's remotest and most iconic regions in superlative comfort, with a broad spectrum of destination versatility. This vision has been successfully realised, as Silversea today unlocks immersive travel experiences for guests in over 900 destinations, from pole to pole – more than any other cruise line.

Destination expertise has long differentiated Silversea Cruises, but it was the launch of Silversea Expeditions in 2008 that pushed the boundaries of discovery further than the ultra-luxury industry had previously seen: milestone voyages include Antarctica in 2008; the West Coast of Africa and the Russian Arctic in 2012; Micronesia, Melanesia and Polynesia in 2013; the Galapagos Islands, the Russian Far East, the Kimberley Coast, and the first Northwest Passage crossing in 2014; and Bangladesh in 2017. In 2019, Silversea's guests will traverse the Northeast Passage for the first time, while the cruise line will undertake the world's first ever Expedition World Cruise in 2021. Silversea's destination leadership in more iconic regions, such as the Mediterranean and the Caribbean, also remains as strong as ever and is predicated on deep travel experiences.

From just one ship in 1994, Silversea's guests today enjoy a fleet of nine ultra-luxury, intimate ships—and an additional five ships are on order. Following the launch of Silver Cloud in 1994, Silver Wind doubled the cruise line's capacity in 1995. Silver Shadow and Silver Whisper were launched in 2000 and 2001, respectively. Silver Explorer, the cruise line's first ice-class ship, unlocked expedition experiences around the world for guests from 2008. Silver Spirit joined the fleet in 2009, followed by Silver Galapagos in 2013 and Silver Discoverer in 2014. The cruise line's flagship, Silver Muse, was launched in 2017 and inspired a fleet-wide 'Musification'—the systematic refurbishment of Silversea's ships, which is ongoing. In 2020, Silver Origin - the most elegant ship to ever sail the Galapagos - and Silver Moon will join the fleet, followed by Silver Dawn in 2021 and the first of two Evolution Class ships in 2022.

Fine food from around the world, complimentary drinks throughout the ship, and a butler for each suite are just some of the many luxurious amenities that Silversea's guests have enjoyed since the launch of the cruise line in 1994. Since Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.'s acquisition of Silversea in 2018, these icons of luxury – and many others – have been further enhanced by Project Invictus, a long-term plan to grow and enhance Silversea's fleet of ships: guests enjoy complimentary, chilled champagne in their suites upon arrival and throughout the ship; complimentary sustainable caviar, available 24 hours per day; an enriched offering of canapes, seafood, berries, and fine steak cuts; and an enhanced wine list, which already comprises the largest complimentary offering at sea.

Silversea Cruises is proud to foster a family-like atmosphere and takes the opportunity of its 25th anniversary to recognise its loyal-most guests and crew—each of whom has made it possible to reach this significant milestone. The most loyal of Silversea's guests have each accumulated more than 2,300 Venetian Sail days already, which equates to almost seven years spent aboard Silversea's vessels. At its launch, Silversea began with just 25 land-based employees in Fort Lauderdale; at the end of 2018, there were 2,571 employees—comprising onboard crew and land-based employees in offices around the world.

"I feel so proud when I consider what we have achieved in 25 years," says Manfredi Lefebvre, Silversea's Executive Chairman. "From just one ship in 1994 to a fleet of nine vessels with at least five to come, we will soon realise the vision set out by my father when he brought innovation to our industry and founded our cruise line. I am grateful to our loyal guests, our travel advisors, and to our crew and employees—they have made this great achievement possible. We continuously work to push boundaries of travel; rest assured that this is just the beginning."

"I joined Silversea Cruises in 1994 – almost 25 years ago – when the company was six months old and had only one ship. I've been here ever since," says Fernando Barroso de Oliveira, Silversea's Chairman's Ambassador to the Venetian Society. "I feel at home. And the guests feel the same—we are a family. We want our guests to feel as though they are a part of something special. Our ships are their home away from home, as we've managed to create a wonderful atmosphere on board. A very important part of my job is to socialise with our guests and I have developed strong bonds. In fact, many guests have come to stay with my family and me in Portugal over the past 25 years, and I have stayed with them. Now, when guests come aboard, they ask if certain members of the team – from bartenders to waiters, butlers, and pool stewards – are also on the ship, as our people are as important as the destinations we visit. For me, it's easy to understand why Silversea is so special to so many people: friendliness, luxury, and service."

"I knew a Captain at Silversea and he reached out to me. I'm now in my twentieth year at the company," says Captain Alessandro Zanello, who joined Silversea Cruises in 1999. "At the time, Silversea had a fleet of just two ships, but the feeling on board was different from other cruise lines. There was a strong sense of family – among both the guests and the crew; because the ships were so intimate, there was closer interaction. This remains unchanged today. I actually met my wife on Silver Spirit in 2009, so I attach great sentimental value to the company. It's very special. One of my proudest moments at Silversea was when I got to be Captain of Silver Muse for her inauguration in 2017—I'll never forget this achievement."

Carnival Cruise Line Adds Drinks to HUB App’s ‘Pizza Anywhere’ Feature
Following the successful rollout of Carnival Cruise Line HUB App’s ‘Pizza Anywhere’ feature, the company has expanded this functionality to include beverage delivery. After choosing a hand-tossed pizza with their preferred toppings, guests will be asked whether they would like a beer, soda or water to accompany their meal. To place an order, guests simply tap on the ship’s map to mark their location, take a selfie to identify themselves and select their desired order.

Beverage options on the app include domestic and imported beers Peroni, Miller Lite and Blue Moon; sodas including Coke, Coke Zero, Diet Coke, Diet Sprite; and bottled water, and cooked-to-order pizzas including margherita, funghi, prosciutto, pepperoni and quattro formaggi.

The add-on drink feature is now available on Carnival Conquest, Carnival Liberty, Carnival Glory, and Carnival Sensation, with plans to roll out to Carnival Victory and Carnival Elation in June, and will be available fleetwide in the coming months.

Launched in 2015, Carnival’s HUB App has become the leading app in the cruise industry with a 4.6+ rating in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store and more than 5.7 million total downloads.

HUB App is designed to serve as a one-stop-shop for making the Carnival vacation experience seamless and convenient from beginning to end, allowing guests to track daily happenings on board; view food, beverage and entertainment offerings; chat with family and friends; book shore excursions; and access their Sail & Sign account.

Princess Cruises Announces Summer of Shark Activities Onboard Caribbean Princess
Coming to life again this summer and in celebration of Discovery Channel's Shark Week, television's longest running must-see summer event airing Sunday, July 28-Sunday, August 4, Princess Cruises will once again "sharkify" Caribbean Princess with its Summer of Shark showcased on eight summer sailings, now through July 27, 2019.

As part of the cruise line's Discovery at SEA program, Caribbean Princess will be celebrating sharks all summer with a variety of activities and games that will challenge adults and kids alike on the myths and interesting facts about sharks. Shark Week programming will be available on stateroom televisions, as well as a special premier party with exclusive content available on June 15 in advance of the television airings. Premier content will also be available on 12 other ships sailing in Alaska and Europe.

"Our guests have been captivated by our Summer of Shark programming taking them on a journey to the depths of the sea to uncover the secrets of the ocean's top creature," said Denise Saviss, Princess Cruises vice president entertainment experiences. "With special Shark Week touches found throughout Caribbean Princess from décor to food and beverage, we're thrilled it's become a popular celebration through our exclusive partnership with Discovery."

Children and teens will enjoy shark-themed fun in Camp Discovery youth and teen centers. Kids can turn into their favorite type of shark with glitter tattoos and shark face painting, or create arts and crafts to take home, including shark teeth jewelry and shark clay models. There is even a Family Fun Fair with special activities.

Adults and kids alike can get into the spirit with specialty cocktails and mocktails that have been creatively crafted including a Shark Attack Margarita, tropical Great Blue Shark and mocktails including a Shark Bite or Super Strawberry Shark Chum. In addition, themed food items will also be served, including shark cookies and even shark-themed food carvings on display. Guests of all ages can enjoy custom branded, photo step and repeat backdrops and green screens.

Caribbean Princess was the first ship in the Princess Cruises fleet to deliver Princess MedallionClass vacations. Enabled by OceanMedallion, a complimentary wearable device that elevates the guest experience by delivering enhanced experiences and personalized service resulting in high guest satisfaction scores.

Caribbean Princess sets sail on alternating seven-day Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale now through July 20, 2019.

Beyond these Summer of Shark themed cruises onboard Caribbean Princess, those looking to have their very shark adventure can book the ultimate adrenaline rush with Animal Planet Exclusive and Recommended excursions such as the Princess Exclusive Great White Shark Diving Encounter in Honolulu or Whale Shark Encounter in La Paz, Mexico.

Airing around the globe, Shark Week is a pop culture phenomenon that thrills fans of all ages with dynamic programming around these often-misunderstood sea creatures.

Cunard Collaborates with Milliner Stephen Jones OBE
With the summer season upon us, luxury cruise line Cunard unveiled a stunning millinery masterpiece designed in collaboration with the legendary milliner Stephen Jones OBE, onboard Queen Mary 2 today.

"There is something truly unique about travelling across the Atlantic onboard Queen Mary 2 for a Transatlantic Crossing. It is an experience that never leaves you and this emotional connection that guests have for this voyage, in addition to Cunard's history, provided the perfect inspiration to create this headpiece," said Jones.

He added: "I wanted to design something that was strong and bold - yet elegant and regal, like a crown. The hat is a nod to the beauty of the sea but also the glamour of ocean travel that Cunard epitomizes. The look and feel is modern and contemporary and could be for the British Social Season. I'm particularly looking forward to seeing the hat being worn at Gold Cup Day, Royal Ascot in a few weeks time."

Jones has incorporated a variety of materials into the headpiece, mirroring the milliner's preoccupation with creating designs that appeal to fashionable women who are confident in their wardrobe choices. Among his clients are members of London society and some of the most legendary fashion houses including Dior.

Jones will headline Cunard's annual Transatlantic Fashion Week which departs New York on July 28, 2019, arriving in Southampton seven days later on August 4, 2019. The hat will be part of Jones' dazzling runway shows on board. In addition, Jones will offer guests insight on his distinguished career via a series of talks and Q&As. He will be joined during the fashion week by other celebrated names in the industry including Stuart Weitzman, Hilary Alexander OBE and Lindy Woodhead.

"The Transatlantic Crossing is our signature voyage and sailing on a Cunard liner has long been synonymous with style and glamour. Stephen Jones is one the most respected and innovative milliners of our generation; his participation in Transatlantic Fashion Week this July 2019 illustrates the distinctive experiences that are found only on Cunard," said Josh Leibowitz, SVP Cunard Nor